This is the kind of thing that just really pisses me off! There is no reason to bring anything like this up unless you are looking to start a controversy and make some money off of it. Vanity Fair ran an article in which they take a closer look at Heath Ledger, and the reason why he went out and played the Joker in 'The Dark Knight', and how he tried to sabotage the film production so he could take a long paid vacation. This story just seems so ridiculous and far fetched, but here it is.
According to Ledger's agent Steven Alexander and cinematographer/friend Nicola Pecorini, the actor had a pay-or-play deal on "Knight," which means that he would be compensated no matter how terrible he ends up being. This gave Ledger the freedom to do what he wanted with The Joker.
Ok, that sounds fine, but here is where the story starts to get shady.
The real decision to take the role was because of the film's unusually long shoot, which would give Ledger an excuse to turn down other offers. And since he was guaranteed to collect a paycheck, Ledger was hoping that his performance would be so "far-out" that he would end up being fired and become the beneficiary of a lengthy, paid vacation.
He was hoping to get fired from the film?! Please! The guy worked his ass off for that role! All the talent that was interviewed for the Dark Knight who talked about Ledger's performance in the film including Ledger himself, discuss how he and Nolan worked so hard to come up with the performance that we all saw and loved. Nolan loved what Ledger did as the Joker! So why would he even consider firing him? If he wanted to be fired he should have played the character half-assed, but he didn't! What his agent is implying is ludicrous, and wrong.
His agent added that while Ledger wanted to get paid, he didn't want to be part of the massive blockbuster that "The Dark Knight" turned out to be.
"[Ledger] was always hesitant to be in a summer blockbuster, with the dolls and action figures and everything else that comes with one of those movies. He was afraid it would define him and limit his choices."
I'm sorry, but all the stuff his agent is saying is Bull Shit! What a dick-ass thing to do to start spreading rumors like this about a guy, that worked his ass off to get the performance of a lifetime passed away. This is all for the benefit of himself, and I don't doubt we will see him write a book on the matter so he can profit off Ledger's death even more.
Steven Alexander is a grade A Hollywood asshole.