Johnny Depp and Jude Law Discuss Taking Over for Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
12.31.09 by Ryan
When Heath Ledger passed away last year, he was in the middle of shooting director Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. It seemed like the movie would have to remain unfinished, until a plot convention was created that allowed Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell to step in and take turns sharing Ledger's final role. Both Depp and Law have finally opened up about what it was like to fill in for Ledger during an interview with HitFix. Depp praised the production, particularly the performances.
It was an honor to represent Heath. He was the only player out there breathing heavy down the back of every established actor's neck with a thundering and ungovernable talent that came up on you quick, hissing rather mischievously with that cheeky grin, "Hey... get on out of my way boys, I'm coming through..." and does he ever!!! Heath is a marvel, Christopher Plummer beyond anything he's ever done, [Tom] Waits as the Devil is a God, Lily Cole and Andrew Garfield, the very foundation, are spectacular, Verne Troyer simply kicks ass and as for my other cohorts, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, they most certainly did Master Ledger very proud, I salute them.
Though the circumstances of my involvement are extremely heart-rending and unbelievably sad, I feel privileged to have been asked aboard to stand in on behalf of dear Heath.
Law admitted it wasn't easy to say yes to the project.
I have always loved Terry Gilliam's films. Their heart, their soul, their mind, always inventive, touching, funny, and relevant. When I got the call, it was a double tug. I liked Heath very much as a man and
admired him as an actor. To help finish his final piece of work was a tribute I felt compelled to make. To help Terry finish his film was an honor paid to a man I adore. I had a great time on the job. Though we were all there in remembrance, Heath's heart pushed us with great lightness to the finish.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is currently playing in limited release and opens nationwide on January 8, 2010.