Heath Ledger Didn't Mind Dying After Daughter's Birth

Heath Ledger recently said he felt good about dying, now that he was a parent, because he was alive in his daughter Matilda.

But at the same time, the Australian actor, who died in New York today, said he wanted to be around for the rest of the two-year-old's life.

Asked about being a parent he said: "I guess you're forced into kind of respecting yourself more, you learn more about yourself through your child, I guess," he told WJW FOX in Cleveland, Ohio.

"You also look at death differently. It's like a catch 22. I feel good about dying now because I feel like I'm alive in her.

"But at the same time, you don't want to die because you want to be around for the rest of her life."

Ledger said fatherhood gave his performances a greater depth

The 28-year-old actor was often seen pushing Matilda around New York in a pram.

Ledger was intensely private but soon after the birth of his child with American actor Michelle Williams, with whom he later split, he told of the joys of parenting.

"It's going great," he said soon after Matilda's birth in October 2005.

"It's exhausting, but its a pleasure waking up to your daughter. My duties in life are that I wake up, cook breakfast, clean the dishes, prepare lunch, clean those dishes, go to the market, get fresh produce, cook dinner, clean those dishes and then sleep if I can," he said when Matilda was just four weeks old.

"And I love it. I actually adore it."

Matilda's birth was widely seen by many to have mellowed the actor.

And he said he was very good at switching off after leaving the set and focusing on his family.
"I kind of save the living for the time between action and cut," Ledger said.

"I'm pretty good at dropping a character once it's over for the day. Certainly once the film is over, I throw it all away. Your life is what matters."

In November last year, Ledger told Chicago's Sun-Times newspaper that he saw acting as a kind of therapy.

"I'm lucky in a sense because I have a job where I get to scream and cry," he said.

"I get to purge myself in ways that don't really affect me personally. When the director yells cut, I just walk out the door and I'm back into my regular life."

He said fatherhood gave his acting a new depth.

"It definitely changes the person that you are. I think your personal evolution runs hand in hand with your professional evolution.

"So fatherhood has changed me as an artist because I feel things on a deeper level. I think my performances will grow simultaneously."

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