8 Little Known Tics In Heath Ledger's Performance That Made Nolan's Joker Awesome

5. There€™s Make Up On His Hands So He Looks Even More Unhinged


Come the end of next month people of all ages will be running around trick or treating/getting drunk dressed as the Joker. Such a simple, immediately memorable look helped make him so enticing in the pre-release and afterwards a perfect Halloween costume. Everyone tends to plump for the clean makeup and purple trench coat, but for my money the look to mimic is the worn, jacketless look he unwittingly sported while locked up in Gordon€™s fortress; it's just so raw.

Although maybe that€™s because hidden in that outfit is a cracking eye into what makes the Joker. Diverging from the favoured origin (and thus setting up Man Of Steel€™s very lax take on the Superman mythos), Nolan axed the chemical bleaching of the skin in favour of the more traditional makeup. But this wasn't the clean version we got with Cesar Romero, but a rough and ready application that thinned through the action.

So far, so Nolan. What Ledger added was the notion of Joker having the paint all over his hands, suggesting not only he applied it himself, but was nonplussed by having his hands messy (or, if metaphors are your thing, dirty). At least he was considerate enough to wear gloves when he knew he€™d be groping people€™s faces.


Film Editor (2014-2016). Loves The Usual Suspects. Hates Transformers 2. Everything else lies somewhere in the middle. Once met the Chuckle Brothers.