Following Amy Winehouse and Kurt Cobain, a documentary about the life of another star who tragically died before his time, Heath Ledger, is about to hit the big screen.
I Am Heath Ledger will premiere later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival and its directors have claimed it will be the most “real” portrayal of the Australian actor.
Heath died age 28 in January 2008 after overdosing on prescription pills at his New York apartment. His unexpected death sent fans and Hollywood into mourning, especially for his then on-off girlfriend Michelle Williams and their daughter Matilda.
The new documentary will be made up of interviews with his family, friends, fellow actors and even ex-girlfriend Naomi Watts and footage shot by Heath for an around a nine year period.
Speaking to news.com.au the team behind it revealed Heath had been documenting his life on camera from when he was a teenager until right up until the days before his death.
When we started, we certainly did not know the depth of this incredible archive,” co-director Derik Murray said in a new interview.
“We knew Heath had started this company with Matt where he was directing music videos. But we quickly realised this was something that was very deep in Heath’s soul — he had a passion for photography, for film. He essentially documented his life.”
Following Heath’s death, wild stories began to emerge about his struggles with substance abuse and allegations of an out of control lifestyle.
Murray admits that Heath had an incredible energy that he couldn’t control: “He’d sleep either zero or two hours a night for year.
“He would call people up in the middle of the night.”
But they insisted he had been in good spirits around the time of his death, shortly after wrapping filming for The Dark Knight, which he won a posthumous Oscar for.
Matt Amato, Heath’s long time friend and co-founder with Heath of production company The Masses, admitted that while the actor was extremely private he thinks he would have approved of the movie.
“This is definitely more the truth than anything else that’s out there,” he said.
“My only reservation is that, is it as big and beautiful and full of spirit as Heath was? Of course not. But it carries a glimpse in it. And I think he would appreciate the love.”
Confirming he got permission from Heath’s ex Michelle Williams he added: “She said, ‘We should do something now. Matilda [their daughter] is curious.’”
I Am Heath Ledger premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 23.