The Joker: Did Heath Ledger Take His Inspiration From…Tom Waits?

The Joker: Did Heath Ledger Take His Inspiration From…Tom Waits?

2:46 PM PDT 7/30/2012 by Marc Bernardin // The Hollywood Reporter

Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” was a work of genius — but was part of that genius inspired by the crater-voiced rock icon?

Heath Ledger Tom Waits Joker Inspiration Split - H 2012

Heath Ledger’s Joker is the sum of a lot of parts: His own slapdash make-up application, a bit of A Clockwork Orange‘s Malcom McDowell, a touch of Sid Vicious. But that voice — that playful, dragged-down-a-country-road drawl — seemed like a unique invention. At least, until you listen to Tom Waits in this 1979 interview on Australia’s The Don Lane Show.

Of course, there’s no way to know if Ledger ever saw this footage. It is entirely possible that his vocal take on the Clown Prince of Crime was totally organic and was invented independent of this. There is always more than one way to get to any destination.

But you’ve gotta admit: The similarity is staggering.

(Via Geekscape)



I am so infatuated with the character of The Joker . . .

For the past 2 years, The Joker has been one of my costumes for Halloween.









So, even though this Heath Ledger/Tom Waits connection certainly isn’t news anymore, I still thoroughly enjoy the dynamic of it, and felt the need — NAY! — the obligation to share it with others. The voice, the mannerisms, the unstableness, the posture . . .  The similarities are so intense and so obvious — I mean, the voice is pretty much spot-on — so, how is it this comparison is only recently being made — I wonder?

Another very special thanks to Kenny for sharing this with me!

with passion & gratitude — jennifer


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