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Question Title Posted By Question Date
Heath Ledger Layla Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Recently the actor Heath Ledger died from an apparent accidental drug overdose. He had reportedly told family and friends that he had been unable to sleep and had been very disturbed during and after playing the psychotic character The Joker.

Is it possible that the disturbance he experienced was spiritual in nature? What I mean to ask is, if someone plays a role of such a negative, evil person, could it have a spiritual effect on the person playing the role?

Thank you and God bless you!

Question Answered by Bro. Ignatius Mary, OLSM

Dear Layla:

Not only is it possible for a role an actor play to effect his mental and spiritual health, but history has some examples of it.

For example, one of the horror film actors of the Béla Lugosi generation, I don't remember which one, got lost in his role. He began to identify with his role so much that he stayed in that persona even off stage. I believe he died in this delusional state.

It is possible that Ledger got into his role so much that it affected his mental health.

Theoretically, it is also possible that playing parts like this could open doors to demonic involvement as well. I know of no evidence of that in Ledger's case. There have been at least rumors of demonic problems with some actors after playing particularly evil or demonic roles or being in movies with evil and demonic themes, but these are rumors and thus not worthy of consideration.

Role-Play in itself is a powerful tool in psychology and in the spirit. Role Play games can and has lead to demonization in some people. Professional acting can be a little more technical and distant from role play, or not, depending on the actor.

Nevertheless, there can be a potential for a character role to affect an actor positively or negatively; and sometimes perhaps attract demonic attention.

God Bless,
Bro. Ignatius Mary


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