34th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Nine
We only covered one red carpet today, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which will always be remembered as Heath Ledger’s last film. The reporters on the carpet spoke to the film’s director, Terry Gilliam, and its stars like Christopher Plummer and Verne Troyer, about what it was like to work with the late actor, who died during a break in the filming.
The film follows a theatre troupe leader (Christopher Plummer) who takes his audience through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations. Ledger plays Tony, who joins the theatre group.
The premise of the film actually helped deal with the production challenges that Gilliam faced when his lead was taken from us too soon.
Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell all stepped in to portray Ledger’s character. Their appearance could be explained away by the fact that Tony’s appearance would change when he was in the dream state. All three actors donated their salaries to Ledger’s daughter, Matilda.
The death of Ledger wasn’t the only tragedy to hit the production. The film’s producer, William Vince, died one week after shooting completed and Gilliam was struck by a car during post-production, breaking his back.