The New York Post's Joe Neumaier claims that Jack Nicholson told London reporters that he "warned" Heath Ledger: but about what, exactly? Burning the candle at both ends? Playing a gay cowboy in a homophobic country? "Well, I warned him," is the full and exact quote. Still, under the caption of Nicholson in full purple regalia in the Post, it claims Nicholson "warned Ledger about the part [of The Joker]." Neumaier notes other reports that Ledger had slept two hours a night during the filming of The Dark Knight, and that Ledger had told the press "prescription drugs didn't help."

This might just be a ghoulish attempt to capitalize on Ledger's death by linking him to a celebrated screen and comic book villain, so I thought I'd check Burton on Burton (edited by Mark Salisbury) to see if Tim Burton recalled Nicholson going through similar angst when making the 1989 Batman, giving him grounds for worrying about the stress on another actor playing the role. Not quite. On Nicholson, Burton commented, "He was very cool...he was very calming and helpful and would just say, `Get what you need, get what you want, and just keep going.'" (Thanks to Moviefone for this tipoff.)