Gotta admit I liked Ledger. A Knight's Tale was goofy fun. Brokeback was, well, it was good, if a little late to the game, and Ledger's clenched fist of a performance was impossible to dismiss. Ditto Monster's Ball. Hated The Four Feathers, but whatever, it wasn't Ledger's fault. And the trailer for The Dark Knight with Ledger as the Joker looks seriously twisted in a great way.
So, The Last Days of Heath Ledger. Turns out it's a piece of what Esquire calls "reported fiction," which means the writer, Lisa Taddeo blends fact and fiction to tell of Ledger's final days and hours in his own voice. It's kind of distasteful and feels a bit exploitative – maybe it's just too soon to consider – but it's also fascinating and a pretty good read.
Take this excerpt:
"My official last meal is a banana-nut muffin. It's not even a particularly fresh one. Some advice: Look at your next muffin. Really fucking look at it. Imagine that muffin is the last bit of food you will ever stick in your mouth. If I could do it over again, I'd make sure everything I ate was an endangered animal's heart on toast with foie-gras crumbles and black-truffle shavings. I mean, fuck. A goddamn muffin.
I'm sitting here at the Mirö Cafe, and I've got a pen in hand and the New York Times Monday crossword. I've heard guys with Woody Allen glasses say that Monday's crossword is cake. Bullshit. Maybe it's because I'm not American, or maybe I'm not smart enough, but Monday is fucking impossible. I hate Mondays.
So I sit there with the pen, it's a Universal Studios pen, and instead of the right answers I just write each letter of my daughter's name in every box. Here it's a Matil. There a MatildaMat. Then just a tilda.
Soon the whole box is consumed with the letters of her name, and it's an artwork unto itself. I stare at it for a long while, until finally I see I've got all the right answers after all."
See what I mean? It works. Mostly. It's touching and sad and kind of how I'd like to think Ledger did spend his final days, what he did, how he felt. Love the dinner with Jack. Still not sure about the ski mask, though.