Get ready to gain a better understanding of Heath Ledger's devotion to his craft.

When the Spike documentary I Am Heath Ledger premieres on Wednesday, May 17, fans of the late actor will not only gain access into his personal life thanks to their access to a wealth of home video footage filmed by Ledger himself, but they'll get the opportunity to hear about the way the Oscar-winning actor thoroughly threw himself into each and every character he inhabited on the screen.

Lords of Dogtown, Heath Ledger


In this sneak peek of the film, exclusive to E! News, Lords of Dogtown director Catherine Hardwicke recounts the slavish attention to detail that Ledger brought to the role of real-life Z-Boys sponsor Skip Engblom. "Heath, he came in and talked to me how he would really get into that character and craft it," she revealed. "He decided he needed to get teeth made like Skip's teeth so that he would feel that he was Skip and talk the way that Skip talked."

Emile Hirsch, who starred in the film as Jay, celebrated his co-stars total vision. "This interest in the exterior and the craft and the way the characters would look and sound and physically look on screen—he was sort of a painter in that way," he added. "But he also had a psychological interest in his characters. If you don't have a sense of play, and if you're too serious, the odds are you're going to be too much of a tight-ass to create characters."

For more from Hardwicke and Hirsch, and to bask in Ledger in action in Lords of Dogtown, be sure to check out the clip above.

The 90-minute documentary offers unprecedented access into the mind of an actor of astonishing talent who was taken from us too soon, courtesy of the hours and hours of home video footage Ledger shot of himself nearly every step of his career. The film also features interviews with friends and loved ones including Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Ben Harper and director Ang Lee, as well as Ledger's parents and sisters.

I Am Heath Ledger premieres Wednesday, May 17 at 10 p.m. on Spike.

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