Originally Posted by CountOrlok
I'm in neither the Nicholson or Ledger camp, but I disagree that it was just Jack Nicholson playing Jack Nicholson. People only say that in retrospect. At the time (1989) Nicholson got just as much praise for his performance as Heath Ledger did.
The thing is at the time people did believe jack the actor would be the best to portray the joker. In that his past work playing sort of off-kilter characters and his natural persona would be a natural fit for the joker. So he sort of was hired to play Jack Nicholson as the Joker because that was believed to be a good fit.
I don't necessarilly disagree with that but I think he was about 10 years too late to be playing the joker. If he had played the joker in his one flew overs the cucko's nest to the shining period, I think his performance would defnitely be up there at least with ledgers.
But by the time he was cast he was 50 and pudgy and sort of too used to playing himself.