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Devin Gordon of Newsweek talks to Chris Nolan, director of "The Dark Knight."  On Heath Ledger he says,

I'd met Heath a couple times over the years about different projects, but nothing ever worked out. One time he gave me a speech that a lot of young actors have given me, where they basically say that they haven't achieved, as serious actors, what they want to before they're pushed into being movie stars. And of all the actors who've given me that speech, he's the only one that I would actually want to pay $10 to see give that kind of performance. And he did it in "Brokeback Mountain." The stunning lack of vanity, the sheer loneliness of that character—it's a staggering performance. So when I heard he was interested in the Joker, there was never any doubt. You could just see it in his eyes. People were a little baffled by the choice, it's true, but I've never had such a simple decision as a director.

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