Heath Ledger Blew Off Steam During The Dark Knight By Beating Christian Bale In A Go-Kart Race

You're playing "Mario Kart." You select your character, the same you always play as: Christian Bale. You respect both his acting ability and his high acceleration stat. You begin to race, and you're dominating. You're leading the pack and keeping your opponents at bay. Until, in the final lap, you take a red shell to the back of the head. You spin out of control, as you watch none other than Heath Ledger pass you. You're frustrated and angry, but you also think to yourself, how did they get the rights to put Heath Ledger in a "Mario Kart" game?

Sorry, I was just setting the stage. Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" started the trend of "dark and gritty superhero movies" that has plagued us for years now. Nolan did it first and did it best, in large part due to the performance of Heath Ledger as The Joker.

Heath Ledger cast the classic but goofy villain in a whole new light, with a visceral and at points terrifying performance that redefined the character. Ledger went to deep and intense lengths in order to get into the character, often exploring dark parts of his own psyche. He wasn't quite method acting, but he was delving deep into the mind of the twisted character he was attempting to embody.

But even taking on the most disturbing role of his career wouldn't stop him from having some fun. According to a recent GQ interview with his "Dark Knight" co-star, Christian Bale, Ledger would apparently, and often, blow off steam by racing go-karts during the film's production.

The son of a go-karter

In Bale's interview, he spoke glowingly about the late Ledger, and revealed his secret talent to the world:

"He was a wonderful go-kart driver, racer. Yeah, we went, we went and raced the go-karts and holy crap, he beat all the stunt guys and everything. He was quick. When we went to the track, we thought of course the stunt guys are gonna win, and then suddenly Heath wins, gets top place, and then very quietly mentions, 'You know, my dad was a go-kart racer.' Very talented individual and a great soul to be around. Yeah, I miss him greatly."

We all knew Ledger was an extremely talented actor, but his apparent status as a go-kart prodigy is yet another impressive facet of the man. For a person who struggled with a lot of self-doubt, Ledger sure seemed to be good at just about everything he did. And the bonding sessions he and Bale had through their go-kart excursions seemed to come through on screen, as the two's chemistry as Batman and The Joker was electric, and was one of the most fantastic parts of the movie.

So the next time you either get behind the wheel of a small racing car or accept a role as The Joker in one of the countless Batman reboots that seem to come out every year, just remember that Heath Ledger was better than you at it.