Christopher Nolan recalls ‘challenging’ Golden Globes experience after Heath Ledger’s death

Christopher Nolan recalled a “complicated and challenging” experience following Heath Ledger‘s death while accepting an award at the 2024 Golden Globes.

After six nominations, the filmmaker won his first ever Golden Globe trophy for Oppenheimer and, after gracing the stage, he immediately spoke about Ledger, whom he directed in Batman sequel The Dark Knight (2008).

While delivering his acceptance speech, Nolan told the audience that the last time he was on the stage for the ceremony was in 2009, when he accepted the Best Supporting Actor award on behalf of Ledger, who died the previous year.

Ledger starred in The Dark Knight posthumously. The blockbuster was released five months after the Australian actor died of an accidental overdose, aged 28.

Remembering the night he picked up Ledger’s award, Nolan said: “Thank you. The only time I’ve ever been on this stage before accepting one of these on behalf of our dear friend Heath Ledger and that was complicated and challenging for me.”

Nolan continued by hailing Oppenheimer cast member Downey Jr, stating : “In the middle of speaking, I glanced up and Robert Downey Jr caught my eye, and gave me a look of love and support – the same look he’s giving me now.” Downey Jr smiled as Nolan delivered his speech.

“I thought it’d be simpler accepting for myself but, as as I stand here, I realise I can only accept this on behalf of people,” the director said as he proceeded to name-check the stars of Oppenheimer, which was the third most successful film of 2024 behind Barbie and The Super Mario Bros Movie.

“As directors, we bring people together and we try to get them to give their best,” Nolan said, adding: “Robert, Cillian [Murphy], my partner in crime of 20 years, Matt [Damon], Florence [Pugh and Emily [Blunt] – the incredible work of our amazing crew.”

Murphy and Downey Jr took home Best Actor and Best Supporting Actors, respectively, for the film about J Robert Oppenheimer, the man behind the creation of the atomic bomb.

Christopher Nolan accepts Best Director at Golden Globes for ‘Oppenheimer’ (YouTube)
Christopher Nolan accepts Best Director at Golden Globes for ‘Oppenheimer’ (YouTube)

Oppenheimer was the evening’s big movie winner, with Succession and The Bear sweeping the TV categories. The ceremony was hosted by comedian Jo Koy, who seemingly left Taylor Swift unimpressed with a joke aimed at the singer, and dealt a particularly brutal jibe at Harry and Mgehan.

Meanwhile comedian Jim Gaffigan left the audience wincing with a controversial quip addressing the unsealed Jeffrey Epsetin court records.

Find the full list of Golden Globes 2024 winners here.