THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2008
In a revealing interview, Hollywood superstar John Travolta opens up about his devastation over the death of his friend Heath Ledger.
WD: Did you know Heath? How has his death affected you?
I did know Heath and I adored him. I am pretty devastated over this. He was my favourite actor and my favourite talent. It's like losing James Dean. I would give back all my awards and all my nominations just to have him back I think he is a real loss as a persona and as a talent. And this whole evening is very hard for me. We are celebrating Australia week in the USA and it's killing me. You know that he's both of us. He's Australian and from the United States, and he means a whole lot. It's bad situation.
WD: How did you meet him?
I wanted to meet him because I was very impressed with him from the very beginning. His agent introduced me to him at a party, and I just fell I used every accolade. Actors need other actors to be inspired by, and he was "my" actor.
WD: How did he respond?
I forget that anyone younger than me grew up with
me. He was beautiful in his reaction. I was an idol of his my reacting that way to his work really blew him away, but he was very modest and almost bashful about the compliment and didn't want to make a big deal about himself. But he was a big deal.
WD: Did you know of any troubles he may have been experiencing?
As far as I knew he was on top of the world. He had everything going for him and was very serious about his craft, and was looking forward to the best work thrown his way. I know recently there was a separation [between him and Michelle Williams], but the thing is when you have the depth of character and feeling as Heath did it's a double-edged sword. You are also feeling those things in life. Your sensitivities and perceptions are almost an assault on you. The most beautiful thing you can use in your craft is also the very thing that can make life harsher for you. I would be presumptuous to assume any reasons, it would be inappropriate. My feeling on Heath is I don't want to lose him at any age, 28 or 88, like Marlon Brando. I didn't like his passing, he was special to me, and he was a friend. At any age you don't want to lose someone like that he was a valuable guy. I am truly sorry and my heart goes out to everyone who knew him and loved him, and actually, my heart goes out to me, I really don't like it. I don't like it… [trails off]
WD: Do you feel for young people in show business now?
I was in a different era, I really don't know. My daughter is starting out in the business and she will be protected by me, and I admire anyone who holds it together nowadays. There are a lot of outside pressures, and then you add the complications of being a superstar that talent, that depth, and who knows? We would have to be inside that person's head.
WD: What was his most inspirational movie for you?
Well, the first movie I saw him in was The Patriot
, but then with Brokeback
I don't think anyone will ever beat that performance, I don't know if it's possible.
Heath Ledger 1979 2008
Article: Heath Ledger found dead