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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Gotta be sayin' something
So, I felt that I had to say something on Heath Ledger. I generally don't feel any need to weigh in on matters of celebrity culture other than to shake my head in disgust, but with Ledger, I felt I needed to put something on the record. Not any speculations about the circumstances of his death, but to say that he was one of the greatest actors of my generation, and he will be sorely missed in the land of shallow beauty that haunts the halls and dales of our films and television shows like a virulent flubug. To me, the sign of a great actor and not a larger than life personality who stars in vehicles for his own albeit exaggerated, swaggered, and reinvented for the millionth time persona is a little thing called range. Brando had it. Newman has it. Ed Norton has it, and Heath Ledger had it. If you look at his performances in Lords of Dogtown, The Brothers Grimm, and, of course, the unbelievably subdued intensity of his performance in Brokeback Mountain, you see a true actor. Not some recycled persona being retread yet again. Not to take anything away from the Brad Pitts of this world. The world needs amazingly handsome, slightly eccentric characters to make us all feel, what exactly, maybe...yeah, I'm drawing a blank, but somehow the world needs them too. To my mind the world could use a few more solid actors like Mr. Ledger was. He is already missed.