a little east of reality

Thursday, February 07, 2008

heath: the verdict

So the toxicology report from the New York coroner is in and it says that Heath Ledger's death was accidental resulting from misuse of a cocktail of pain killers, anxiety medication and sleeping pills. Apparently all the drugs were legal and prescribed, but not safe to be mixed together.
When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake.
And the medications in question? Oxycodone (Oxycontin) and hydrocodone (Vicodon) are pain killers. Diazepam and Alprazolam are sedatives used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. Temazopam is a sleeping pill and Doxylamine is an antihistamine which can be used as a short term treatment for sleeplessness.

I have to admit that I will always wonder if it was really the Joker that killed him in the end. He played the character sinister and dark, with what's been described as an "anarchic interpretation". When first preparing for the role, he apparently found it difficult to create a voice that was not simply an imitation of Jack Nicholson's take on the role, so he moved into a hotel room alone for a month to work on the character and perfect not only his voice, but his posture, his physicality and the psychology behind the character. He even started keeping a diary of the Joker's thoughts and feelings.

He wanted the Joker scary and from what I've seen in the trailer, a scary-assed Joker is what the movie got. What Heath got was anxiety and messed up sleep patterns. He had started on a new film, but the problems endured.
With insomnia, nothing is real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.
Add pneumonia to that and it's pretty easy to think, 'I still feel like hell. Maybe I'll just take a couple of these as well. Wait, did I have the Vicodon already? because I still ache.' I'm kind of glad it wasn't deliberate or a stupid heroin overdose or something like that, but it's also sad to think it was something as lame as mixing up prescriptions that took him away. I think it's going to be a little weird to see The Dark Knight with all this behind it. The Joker seems even more sinister to me now.

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