10 Real Reasons Movie Characters Seemed So Sinister

7. Heath Ledger's "Reptilian" Licking Was Caused By Makeup Issues - The Dark Knight

The Omen 1976 Damien
Warner Bros.

To give the late Heath Ledger his full, Oscar-winning due, his performance as The Joker is plenty creepy any way you slice it, though one of the character's most iconic and memorable flourishes was first and foremost a practical concern.

Anyone who's seen The Dark Knight will remember the manner in which the Clown Prince of Crime licks his lips. To the layperson, it seems like nothing more than an actorly affectation, an easy way to make the supervillain seem even more grotesque.

And yet, the 2017 documentary I Am Heath Ledger confirmed that the actor actually developed the licking lips flourish as a means to prevent his facial prosthetics from slipping from his face as he spoke.

Despite being an on-set necessity above all else, this tic caught the attention of none other than Nicolas Cage, who a few years later commended Ledger for integrating "reptilian stuff" into his performance.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.