Ledger scares the lines right out of Caine’s brain!

Michael Caine, who plays Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler, confidante and father figure, Alfred Pennyworth, recently spoke about acting with Heath Ledger’s Joker in the currently filming Batman Begins sequel, The Dark Knight.

Here are some highlights — swipe the whited-out areas with your mouse for mild spoilers:

“The worry going in was The Joker. Jack Nicholson was the greatest Joker so, you know, how do you top that? Well, Heath Ledger’s done it and he’s extraordinary. He’s gone in a completely different direction to Jack. Jack was like a clown figure, benign but wicked, maybe a killer old uncle. He could be funny and make you laugh. Heath is like a really scary psychopath. I did one scene with him and he was ready to go and had to come up in a lift and raid our place. I didn’t see him for rehearsal, and when he came out of the lift, he was so incredible I forgot my lines. He frightened the life out of me. He’s a lovely guy and his Joker is going to be a hell of a revelation in this picture.”


Heath Ledger’s Joker will scare you, too, on July 18, 2008.

Source: Batman on Film


  1. Jeff Rothe says:

    I think they had the right idea. While Nicholson was a psychopath, he really didn’t have that edge to him. He was maybe more calculated than the Joker of the comics? I know he did some kind of random things, but Joker has little rhyme, little reason, he is insane, and that is really the best way to describe it. Jack may have been insane for the late 80’s, but to be scary today and really convey a level of horror, you have to take it up a notch in today’s cinema.

  2. darkhonor says:

    I have to agree, when Serial Killers are even popularized in television (Showtime’s “Dexter”) you seriously have to amp up on your levels of insanity for people to take it seriously.

  3. John says:

    Excellent points, both of you! The Joker needs to be terrifying and random and scary beyond reason. Even the original Batman comics got that right.

    The most evil Joker moment I ever read in a Batman comic:

    The Joker is holding a baby, with his gun held to its head. There’s a Gotham City cop holding her gun on The Joker. The Joker throws the baby at the cop. She drops her gun to catch the baby, and as soon as she does, The Joker steps right up to her, says, “Merry Christmas,” and shoots her in the face. Then he steps out of the surrounded building, smiles, and says, “I surrender,” knowing that no one can do anything to him because he’ll be put right back in Arkham Asylum for being “insane.”

    I honestly think Heath Ledger’s going to give us all nightmares.

  4. John says:

    And speaking of Michael Caine, my friend James bought me a giant Batman action figure for my 30th birthday and adorned the box with a pair of fake autographs:

    “Don’t do drugs! — Christian Bale”

    “Johnny — I hope your birthday is top-drawer! — Michael Caine”

  5. bluecollar49 says:

    Hi John, where have you been? And how have you been? Well enough of that….I haven’t seen too many clips of Ledger as the Joker and one picture does not a Joker make. I’m not going to say much about Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker, I don’t feel I have to, and we both know that Heath will be judged against Jack’s performance, so let’s hope that if they are going for a more comic edged Joker that Heath’s done his homework.
    But I have to admit, it can’t be all bad if Michael Caine says he was scared of Ledger’s performance as the Joker, and Heath made him forget his lines.

  6. John says:

    Hi again, Lew,

    I’ve been around. And I’m doing well. How are you? It’s always good to see you around here, and I always appreciate your viewpoints. Thanks again for stopping by.

    I think they’re on the right track by going an entirely different route from what Jack Nicholson did because, as you’ve said before, Jack’s Joker is unstoppable. Heath’s Joker, I think, will be more like the random but brilliant psycho from the comics. Can’t wait to talk about the movie with you after it’s out, which thankfully gets a little bit closer every day.

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