Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My Heath Ledger Story

I missed meeting Heath Ledger by about 5 minutes.

We were in Los Angeles for a Cross-Cultural-Encounter class, one of the final pieces of my time in seminary. We spent the afternoon at Venice Beach, enjoying the sights and sounds and scents and flavors of one of L.A.'s more exciting spots. Being that I had lived in L.A. for most of a decade, I was somewhat enjoying the role of tour guide to many of my fellow students, who were mostly from Canada and Kansas.

In the early evening, I was walking north along the beach with Mike (a friend from Fresno), and a young lady from Canada. Off in the distance I saw the telltale high-power lights of a movie shoot. The three of us wandered over to see what was happening. As we approached, they were just beginning to take one final shot of a skateboarder riding "into the sunset." We began talking to one of the crew on the fringes of the set.

"So what movie are you making?"

"It's called 'Lords of Dogtown," about the early skating culture down here."

"Does it star anybody we would know?"

"Well, it's directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who did 'Thirteen.' And the main star is Heath Ledger."

At that point, the young lady with us swooned. Both Mike and I said "who?" but she actually swooned.

"Yeah, he was just here, but left about 5 minutes ago to begin setting up for filming a street scene in town. Otherwise you could have met him."

Eventually, I figured out that Heath Ledger was that guy I'd seen in "A Knight's Tale." Other than that, I knew nothing about him. But strangely, when we told the story to the larger class at our debriefing that night, all the ladies once again swooned. Just because we'd been on the same beach where he had been.

And that's the closest I ever got to Heath Ledger.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Shelli and I went to the school in Tacoma where they filmed "10 Things I Hate About You." We walked on the same bleachers where Heath did his song & dance. And yes, we swooned. (Also we took pictures so we could say "We stood where Heath once stood!) I was a fan and I'll miss him. (Susan)