Compiled by: Jack Foley
EXTRACTS taken from the Australian press conference....
Q. What attracted you to the role of Ned Kelly?
A. Initially, it was just Gregor. On the other side of the
coin, it was Gregor, I wanted to work with him again and it just
happened to be this project.
And, I don't know, look, for obvious reasons, it felt like it
was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I happened to be at the
right age. I'm around the same age that he was when he died. And
that. I believed in him and that's it.
I just thought it would just be
I would learn a lot about
myself and I'd learn a lot about my craft doing it. And I did
and I had a lot of fun. And that's
and I think particularly
because it's such an iconic Australian story and I really wanted
to come home and work in Australia as well.
Q. What sort of research did you do for Ned Kelly?
A. I don't know. Look, at the end of the day, there's only
so many books you can read on him and of those books, they really
don't give you an accurate picture of how his heart, you know,
how it beat and how he walked and talked and smiled and carried
So, at the end of the day, I really had to have a stab in the
dark and it's just my opinion on what he was like and, I don't
know, I wanted to bring blood and bones to him.
He certainly held himself high. So I found a lot in his eyes in
just that portrait.
And so the rest was just trusting my own instincts and blocking
out everyone else's opinions. Because at the end of the day, everyone
has their own opinion on what this guy was like and so this is
just mine - ours.
Ledger: Yeah. But in terms of literature, the Jerilderie
letter was extremely vital. It was his heart, it was his word.
It certainly provided me with his passion. And so I read that
to myself every day.
And beside that, it was just the portrait of him two days before
he was hung. He just had so much dignity and pride in his eyes
for someone whose family had been beaten and locked up and his
life had been turned upside down.
Q. What parts of yourself do you think you put into Ned; what
part of your personality?
A. Most of my body, [laughs]
Q. Did you sometimes find yourself feeling like him?
A. Did I? Yeah, I did. I mean, we all had this pressure on
our back to tell this story accurately, but it's impossible to
tell this story accurately. I think everyone has been trying to
do that for the last century. But, you know, I just had to turn
a blind eye to that and just concentrate on what I was doing;
Q. What did you discover about Ned Kelly and did you enjoy
finding out about him?
A. Yeah. Look, I don't know. Because that was part of the
mystery, was discovering who he was to start. I had to guess what
my parallels would be to him and I figure the
I don't know.
I guess just from the Jerilderie letter, I guess his passion in
terms of standing up for what he believes in, standing up for
You know, I'm certainly someone who if I'm shot at, I'd probably
shoot back at them, too. So I certainly agreed with him on that.
Although my opinion on Ned will always be a biased one, because
I had to play him and I had to feel like him and so I'll probably
defend him to the grave, or something. [Laughs]
Q. What was it like wearing the armour? And was it heavy?
A. It was
actually, the armourer originally told all
us boys, right, that it was 20 per cent lighter, just to shut
us up so that we wouldn't whinge. And then we found out it was
like 20 per cent heavier. [Laughs]
Though it wasn't that
it was pretty comfortable, wasn't
it? It was heavy, but it was supposed to be heavy and we wanted
it to be heavy. We wanted to feel like it was authentic and we
wanted to believe the situation we're in and we did.
Jordan: We had the fibreglass suits as well.
Ledger: Yeah. They made fibreglass suits for us, but
Jordan: We didn't use them.
yeah, we didn't use them.
Q. So is Ned a hero to you?
A. A hero, yeah, absolutely. Everything that Gregor just said
five minutes ago, I couldn't agree more. I had
I have to
believe that. I was portraying him. I do. He was a victim. But
yeah, I feel like
certainly, you guys all covered that.
Hero, for sure.
Q. This is your most challenging and high-profile role to
date. Was there a tinge of regret once you had finished it? And
what did you take away from the experience?
A. Yeah, definitely. It was certainly the most fun I've had
to date, and yeah, it is. And it was really sad to put it down.
I think we all kind of felt that towards the end of the movie,
we didn't want him to die, again, you know. I certainly carry
around a piece of him with me, still.