Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene, with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Tuesday, 18 August 2015 - 11:50AM
DC Comics
Batman
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 - 11:50AM
Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene, with Commentary from Christopher Nolan
Heath Ledger's Joker has become an iconic, possibly definitive portrayal of a classic character since The Dark Knight came out in 2008. His method acting and immersion into the character has become infamous, especially in the wake of his tragic death. It's difficult to pick a favorite Joker scene from The Dark Knight, but the Batman/Joker interrogation scene is certainly a turning point in the film, and goes a long way towards developing the Joker as a character. Now, we have a visual breakdown from Imgur user joinmeinthesun, which uses 32 on-set photos of Ledger and Christian Bale, accompanied by Christopher Nolan's breakdown of the scene in an old Hero Complex interview.

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan
Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

Step-By-Step Visual Breakdown of The Dark Knight Joker Interrogation Scene with Commentary from Christopher Nolan

There are many interesting tidbits in this interview, especially the parts about Ledger and Bale heavily improvising their blocking and choreography. Many of the best movies and TV shows give talented actors leeway to do what feels natural, and that paid off in spades here. I tend to agree with Nolan's decision to cut the ad-libbed kick in the head, as it wouldn't have fit with the overall arc of Batman realizing the futility of his efforts, but it seems to yield more organic results when actors are able to feel out their scenes.

It's also a testament to the talent of both actors that the nature of their characters and the emotions of the scene are apparent in every still. Ledger especially shows such a range of expressions, and like Nolan says, really gets to the heart of a character who is essentially invulnerable, because he never has anything to lose.

Via Indiewire.
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