'Juno' Star Ellen Page Reflects On Would-Be Director Heath Ledger

Naturally, everyone in Hollywood these days is still shaken over last week's tragic death of Heath Ledger. Few, however, had been in touch with the actor recently quite like "Juno" star Ellen Page, who had been in talks to star in Heath's intended directorial debut, "The Queen's Gambit."

"It was talked about," the Oscar-nominated actress said of her possibly taking the lead role in an adaptation of the novel about an orphan who becomes a chess prodigy. "But, you know," she sighed, shaking her head, "obviously, that's not the [most important thing right now]."

Recently, our own Josh Horowitz remembered a touching conversation he once had with the 28-year-old about their shared love of the sport of kings. In his final few years, Ledger had been making plans to slide into the director's chair with "Gambit," employing both his movie-making experience and his reported skills as a grandmaster-level chess player.

“It’s just extremely tragic," Page said of her almost-director. The project has now stalled, of course, but to Page that's barely a minuscule afterthought in this tragic tale.

"I wish his family the best, and I hope his privacy is respected," she said. "That’s what’s getting out of control, and it’s becoming too much. Hopefully that will begin to end, that intensity.”

Would Heath have been a good director? Why or why not? Weigh in with your thoughts below.