Saturday, January 26, 2008

Out on a Ledger

So you're saying what exactly now?

They never miss an opportunity to bash Mel Gibson, do they?

...Barresi said a 'major Hollywood producer' told him that Ledger asked Gibson whether he should play the part of [Brokeback Mountain gay cowpoke] Ennis, and 'Gibson strongly counseled against it. The role apparently ran counter to Gibson's morality. And he felt that it would ruin Heath's career,' the News reported.

But Ledger ignored the suggestion and signed on to do the film anyway, leading to a rift with Gibson, according to the News.

When Gibson parted ways with Heath, it broke his heart, Barresi told the paper.

In the end, Ledger's performance in Brokeback won him critical accolades, an Oscar nomination and newfound respect as a serious, talented and complex actor, allowing him to shed his image as just another Hollywood heartthrob."

That would be critical accolades and newfound respect from everyone but audiences of movies anybody actually watches. And Ledger reportedly went out of his way during Brokeback's press junket to bash gays and otherwise distance himself from the role.

In other words, he knew Mel was right.

Heath's loss is a huge tragedy to be sure, no doubt ultimately to take its place among the great celebrity early deaths of all time. I guarantee it will also magnify his actual impact on the industry beyond all reality. (This is, after all, the guy who recently gave us the supremely lame Wassup Rockers.)

Chalk this one up to the "live fast, love hard, die young And leave a beautiful memory" phenomenon.

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