- 11:05 AM, Oct 03
firmly rejected them although it meant that he had to waste his time in finding a desirable part. "There's little depth in those scripts," he explained his refusal. "You can only take the psyche of a teenager to a certain level." Fortunately, his wait for the right role was worthy as he successfully defeated almost 200 other actors to star alongside Mel Gibson as Gabriel Martin in Roland Emmerich's excellent war drama movie, "The Patriot" (2000).
Not only praised by the critics, "The Patriot" also collected a tremendous income of more than 215 million U.S. dollar in the international market, directing Heath to encounter considerable popularity all over the world. Satisfyingly dropped his 'pretty boy' image through this work, he continued to explore various human characters, taking more intriguing roles in his next projects of "A Knight's Tale" (2001), "Monster's Ball" (2001), "The Four Feathers" (2002) and "Ned Kelly" (2003). By 2005, he had really become one of the most frequent actors to appear at the cinemas as four of his films were released in the year which included "Lords of Dogtown," "The Brothers Grimm," "Brokeback Mountain" and "Casanova."
Thanks to the critical and commercial success of "Brokeback", Heath finally could emerge as one of Hollywood's A-listers in the film industry. Not only scored a remarkable worldwide gross of over $178 million, the bittersweet drama also brought him some film award nominations, culminating in that of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the 2006 Academy Awards. Following this, came two more challenging roles in "Candy" (2006) and "I'm Not There" (2007) before he satisfyingly secured down another prestigious part as Batman's nemesis the Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008), the sequel to 2005's hit movie "Batman Begins."
Apart from his career in movie industry, Heath had been known as a ladies' man due to his romance with some actresses. Dated his co-star of "Roar," Liza Zane, in 1997, he was later seen romancing Heather Graham, who is almost nine years his senior, by the year 2000. However, their relationship only lasted less than two years for he then gave his heart to the "21 Grams" actress, Naomi Watts. Undergoing an on-off affair since 2002, they sadly decided to go separately by 2004 in the end. Nevertheless, Heath quickly flourished a new love for Michelle Williams, whom he first met on the set of "Brokeback Mountain."