Heath Ledger's family on the Oscar, Matilda and his 'last film'
Backstage, the slightly overwhelmed family talked about their late son's Joker role, the details of the Oscar going to Heath's daughter, Matilda, and his final final role, in Terry Gilliam's next film.
His sister Kate Ledger was asked to elaborate on Heath's sense that this role was going to be important.
"When he came home for Christmas a year ago, he had been sending me shots and bits and pieces from the film," his sister said. "And he hadn't seen it, I hadn't seen it. No one had really seen it, but he knew. And I said to him, 'I have a feeling this is it for you. You're going to get a nomination for this. You know, for the Academy.' And he just looked at me and smiled. So he knew."
On taking the Oscar statuette home to Australia or handing it off Matilda, Kate said, "Obviously, it belongs to Matilda, so whatever has to happen. In the meantime, we don't know -- or we haven't discussed it -- because we're not too sure at this stage. But I'm sure it will just go somewhere secure in the meantime. And obviously, it will end up with Matilda."
Heath's dad, Kim Ledger, added, "We intend, obviously, to keep it for Matilda. Whichever is the best way to keep it. With the Oscar, you're all aware what they do in this special circumstance for somebody when somebody passes away, then the next of kin, in this case Matilda, will be the recipient. But she can't sign for it until she's 18, so it stays in trust here or in Australia. We'll work that out, but possibly in trust here until Matilda turns 18."
How much is Matilda aware of about all the Oscar fuss about her father?
Kim Ledger says, "Well, firstly, I think Michelle keeps Matilda closeted in a nice way. I [don't] think she really knows very much about the fuss of what's going on, which I think is a good thing. And Michelle will make the decisions here when it's appropriate to celebrate this kind of thing. You know, she'll be an age when she can celebrate it, and Michelle will make that decision, I'm sure.
Are they looking forward to seeing "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"? Have they seen any footage yet?
Keep reading to find out more about Heath's real final film, how much Matilda is like Heath, and their relationship with her mother, Michelle Williams ...
"We've seen a little bit of footage," Kate said. "He'd only completed, I think, about a third of the film. And then we've had some incredible actors -- Johnny Depp and Jude Law and Colin Farrell -- step in to complete it. And I think it's going to be, yeah, amazing. Terry is amazing, and Heath always had such enthusiasm and interest in whatever Terry was doing."
What do they see of Heath in Matilda?
Heath's mum, Sally Bell, replies, "I think just to look at Matilda, to know that she's totally like her daddy. She has the same mannerisms. I really feel he's in her." She adds that she looks a little like him too.
Have they spoken to Matilda's mum, Michelle Williams?
"Not just yet, because we've just come here," says Kate. "But we're very close with Michelle. She's doing an amazing job with Matilda, and we speak all the time so we're in constant contact and always will be."