Movies - TV
Heath Ledger Wasn't Willing To Put His Health On The Line For A Knight's Tale
By MATTHEW BILODEAU
“A Knight’s Tale,” a medieval jousting film with a soundtrack filled with heart-pumping tunes from Queen, David Bowie, and AC/DC, tells the story of a peasant squire turned knight. Young William Thatcher (Heath Ledger) dons his former master’s armor and wows the spectators with his prowess as he forces his way into high society through sheer determination.
Ledger recognized the sport can be quite perilous and decided to leave the riding for the jousting scenes to the expert stuntmen. The actor said in an interview, "We did as much of it as we could, but I'm really not willing to ride a horse towards another rider at full speed and hit them with a stick – or get hit myself." He also revealed that several stuntmen did get injured in the process.
“Stunt guys were getting injured badly. One guy had his jaw ripped back, and had 15 stitches and was back on the horse two weeks later — and it happened again,” said Ledger. While the actor did ride a stallion for many of the scenes in the movie, Ledger stepping down from the more dangerous scenes was probably for the best, even if he wanted to try.