Stephen Gaghan 'Collapsed' From Shock After Receiving Phone Call About Heath Ledger's Death
Cover Images/Sara De Boer

The director, who was about to make a movie based on Malcolm Gladwell's novel 'Blink' with the late actor, says he received a call from Ledger's father because his phone number was written on script found with the 'Brokeback Mountain' star.

AceShowbiz - Stephen Gaghan received a haunting phone call from Heath Ledger's father after his number was found written on a script close to the star's lifeless body. The "Brokeback Mountain" star was found dead at his apartment in New York in 2008 after suffering a drug overdose, and Oscar-winning screenwriter/director Gaghan has now revealed he was caught up in the drama after Ledger's loved ones found his phone number written on a script which was in the bed with the body.

During an appearance on the "Revisionist History: Development Hell" podcast, Gaghan revealed the movie was based on the novel "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell and a copy of the book was also found on Ledger's nightstand.

He explained, "The dad and the guy who was closest to him in his professional life, they were there with the body and our script was in bed with him, and [Gladwell's] book was on the bedside table. I think my number was on the script, like written. These guys, as you can imagine, they are in shock and they dialled that number and I don't know why."

Gaghan had been planning to make the movie with Ledger and he was devastated to learn of his passing, revealing he got the phone call when he was in an airport with his his wife Minnie Mortimer and he "collapsed" from the shock.

He added, "I'm in an airport with my wife just going from one place to another, and I literally just collapse, never happened to me before or since. My feet went out from under me. I just literally sat down because I was like, 'What?' The emotion, what they were going through, I should not have been a party to in any way really, and yet as a human or as somebody who just cares, I just was there and I was listening and my wife was looking at me. I remember her face and I was just like, I was speechless. I just listened and listened and listened. It was just really, really sad. And it's still sad. For me, I just had to put a pin in it."

He added of his friendship with Ledger, "I met Heath Ledger and I'd gotten to be very, very close with him instantly. I had a real connection with him that was unusual and really special to me. I had this feeling that I love this guy and was going to make a bunch of movies with him - and then I got [the] phone call."

Gaghan ended up shelving his movie project after Ledger's death because he couldn't see any other actor taking on the role.

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