A recently revealed voice mail that Heath Ledger left late last month for an Australian-newspaper film editor is offering a fresh glimpse into the recently deceased actor's personal life. In the message, the Oscar-nominated actor graciously thanked the media for allowing him privacy, alluded to his "Dark Knight" plans for 2008 and spoke of his adoration for his hometown of Perth, where he reportedly spent Christmas. But he also hinted at his stressful life.
The West Australian, a Perth-based newspaper, posted the text of Ledger's voice mail in an article that appeared earlier this week; it was also referenced in a story in the Thursday (January 24) edition of The Sydney Morning Herald. The original article was written by Katie Hampson (the Katie Ledger reportedly mentioned in the message is his sister), based on a message left with West Australian film editor Mark Naglazas on December 30. Naglazas was not available for comment and is on vacation, according to his voice mail; Hampson and editors at The West Australian could not be reached for comment at press time.
Here is a transcript of the voice mail:
"Hey Mark, it's Heath again, Katie's brother.
"Yes, listen, if I don't catch you, 'cause I leave soon, basically I don't have anyone else to call, and I thought, as I've spoken to you before, I thought I'd ring up and just send some thanks out there to the peeps at The West Australian and The Sunday Times and everyone in Perth in general.
"I don't know whether it's a conscious thing or an unconscious thing, giving me space and respecting my privacy. It's just been awesome, and I've had the most beautiful time back here and being able to see all my friends and family, let alone the press and the people within the community of Perth, it's been so lovely.
"It's really enabled me to be a boy again from home and feel like I'd never left. Like I said, I'm not sure whether it's a conscious decision on the paper's part or not to kind of give me this space, but they have, and I truly, truly thank them for it, and it makes my life a life when I come back here.
"I know you're probably not the man to print this, but you can certainly pass this on to your compatriots, and that's really it, just sending my love and thanks to the city of Perth because it's truly been an incredibly therapeutic and a much-needed trip home, and just that little touch has made it all that more special to me.
"So feel free to use this message as my interview as such, and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and certainly a Happy New Year.
"If I don't speak to you before I leave, I will no doubt be talking to you probably next year when Batman comes out — and Batman goes down in fact.
"Thanks for listening to my longwinded message — like I said, feel free to use it and pass it on to someone who can type it out, and thanks again.
"OK, bye bye."
For more on Heath Ledger's tragic passing, read reactions from his peers and other admirers, as well as casting directors he worked with. Also, watch Ledger talk about his evolution as an actor in a 2005 interview with MTV News.