10 Actors Who Were Scared Of Other Actors

2. ...And Maggie Gyllenhaal Couldn't Even Look At Him

The Joker Rachel Dawes
Warner Bros.

Michael Caine and Maggie Gyllenhaal don't have much screen time with Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight - Gyllenhaal has a single scene and Caine has a single quick moment - but he clearly left one hell of an impact on them regardless.

Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes was terrorised by Joker during the movie's penthouse party scene, with the villain pulling a knife to her face and telling her a (fake) story about how he got his scars. It's an intense conversation, with Rachel writhing and trying to escape his grasp, while also struggling to maintain eye contact with him.

In the past, Gyllenhaal has confessed to finding her scene with Ledger "scary", and apparently, the moment where Rachel is first grabbed by Joker and tries to wriggle out of his clutches was semi-improvised: Gyllenhaal was legitimately uneasy and found it hard to look Ledger in the eye, prompting him to say his "look at me" line on the spot.

The duo's acting in this scene resulted in one of the tensest moments in the movie, and clearly, Ledger was just as powerful a presence in person as he is on the screen.

Contributor
Contributor

Writer and video editor WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.