Gilliam wants “another award for Heath”

Posted by · 6:46 am · May 14th, 2009

Heath Ledger in The Imaginarium of Doctor ParnassusIt may not be in the Competition lineup, but Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” is surely one of the most eagerly — and curiously — awaited films of the Cannes festival. The bulk of the interest, of course, rests on the unfinished final screen performance of Heath Ledger, and how (or, indeed, if) Gilliam’s audacious strategy of completing the late thesp’s characterisation with contributions from three other actors will work.

All will be revealed when the film makes its Cannes debut next Friday, but for now, Gilliam talks up “Parnassus” in an interesting interview with the Times of London — and the famously bolshy director minces no words when it comes to his awards hopes from the film:

The planned release date for Doctor Parnassus is in the autumn. “We want to be in that last third for the Academy Awards! Maybe we’ll get another award for Heath. We’re going to get as many awards as possible for him, long after he’s gone.”

Meanwhile, he’s confident that Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell’s continuation of Ledger’s role is a success, both in terms of artistry and commercial viability:

We were lucky because we have a magic mirror in this movie. Not every movie has a magic mirror. So you can very genuinely say that these other actors are different aspects of the character that Heath plays. And it works. The point was, we’ve got to keep going. It was a bit like half being there, but apparently on autopilot I can still do a few things … It’s a hard thing to do, walk into a character and take over. But they did it.

Of course, with Gilliam, you never know whether he’s bluffing or not. I must admit that, as intrigued as I am to see the results, awards have been the furthest thing from my mind with this project, if only because Gilliam represents everything that AMPAS voters run from in terror. Perhaps he’s relenting — he admits in the interview to being genuinely honored by his recent BAFTA career achievement award, even if he takes issue with the way it was presented. Read the rest here.

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 5-14-2009 at 6:51 am

    Brando said...

    “We’re going to get as many awards as possible for him, long after he’s gone.” this seems strangely honest and greedy.

  • 2 5-14-2009 at 7:17 am

    Graham said...

    how is that at all greedy? Seems like a rather nice thing to do for Heath’s legacy.

  • 3 5-14-2009 at 7:47 am

    Aleksis said...

    What’s the point in trying to win awards for someone who’s dead? Can’t living actors benefit slightly more from the awards attention?

  • 4 5-14-2009 at 7:52 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Uh, because awards are, at least some of the time, about honoring exceptional work — regardless of whether the person in question is alive or dead?

    I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case here — let’s see the film first — but if Gilliam believes Ledger’s work is award-worthy, he’s entitled to say so.

  • 5 5-14-2009 at 8:17 am

    adam said...

    He sounds like he just wants to honor Heath’s worh with awards because he has since past.

    He probably wouldn’t be saying he wants to get Heath another Oscar if he was still alive.

  • 6 5-14-2009 at 9:18 am

    Missy said...

    Not so long ago he was railing against Warner Bros for campaigning Heath for a BS Oscar. I knew he full of it , he’s just jealous.

  • 7 5-14-2009 at 11:44 am

    chad said...

    Gilliam is beyond shameless. I got an invite to a screening of this film and at the top it said, “Terry Gilliam, Samuel Hadida, Amy Gilliam and other friends of Heath Ledger invite you to. . .” What the hell is that? It was not a tribute screening or anything to do with Ledger at all. Just trying to use his name to hype the film.

  • 8 5-14-2009 at 10:06 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Heath Ledger was so beautiful! That picture of him from the film is just — God it’s awful he’s gone.

  • 9 5-15-2009 at 1:51 am

    Glenn said...

    With these replies and the ones for the trailer for “The Road” it’s as if people don’t understand how movie marketing works. Take something you think audiences will want to see and push it to the forefront.