Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Esquire Magazine Keeps Heath's Ledger

Margaret B. Jones
Misha Defonseca
Ishmael Beah

What do these people have in common? Well, all three were not drug selling gang soldiers living amongst wolves. But that’s not all. All three are liars, too.

As it turns out, none of these authors did even one of those three. Despite claims to the contrary, Jones did not run drugs for the Bloods of Los Angeles, Defonseca was not rescued from the Holocaust by wolves, nor was Beah actually a child soldier. All three were recently revealed to have lied in their memoirs. And an upcoming piece in Esquire Magazine may be catching up on the fad.

In this month’s Esquire, Lisa Taddeo jots down a controversial fictional diary entry entitled “The Last Days of Heath Ledger.” In the piece, Taddeo conjures up the last few days before Ledger’s surprising death including details of who he spoke with (Jack Nicholson in person, Michelle Williams on email, Mary-Kate Olsen on the phone), what he ate (steak and eggs, banana-nut muffins), where he hung out (The Beatrice), what he wore (a ski mask), and whose music he listened to (Nick Drake).

The penultimate part of the story (as if banana-nut muffins wasn’t epic enough) comes in the last section entitled “The Final Curtain,” where the ventriloquist Taddeo has Ledger explain:

What I'd ask of you, out of respect, not for me--I'm deaf and blind to it now--but for the living I left, is to leave it alone. Don't investigate my last few days, because these could be your last few days. Play your own part. And don't tell me what I did. I didn't play the piano or fuck Lindsay Lohan or fill my goody bag to the brim at the Venice Film Festival. In fact, I'm not really sure I did too much that you personally should remember, beyond make a beautiful little girl, the one thing every guy wants to be able to say he did. So that's it, my final unedited shot: Matilda. She is what lives on. The rest is just bullshit.
Is it ironic for Taddeo to investigate Ledger’s last few days and voice the thought that the rest of us shouldn’t? Well, it depends if you know what irony is. If you do know the definition of irony, then yes- it is ironic.

Why write the controversial piece? Taddeo answers it herself, at the start of the piece:

It becomes theatrically important, after you die, what your last few days are like.
Theatrically important, eh? I wonder if Esquire may have done it because it is financially important, too…I bet there’s more money lying around the Esquire offices for banana-nut muffins nowadays.

[NY Post]

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