I don't think Ledger and Hardy should be compared. Nor do I believe that Nolan's interpretation of Bane wasn't as individual as his interpretation of the Joker. I quite liked the fact that Nolan didn't feel trapped by the limitations some hardcore fans place on how a character should be portrayed. I saw Ledgers take on the Joker as a departure, whereas for Hardy, I knew he would piss it in as, as clrj mentioned above, after seeing Bronson I knew he had form. Ledger had never done anything to really make him stand out until the Joker, IMO. Even his role in Brokeback or Monsters Ball were more like exercises in long, meaningful staring to equate some sort of tortured soul. Lords Of Dogtown and Two Hands are the only possible exceptions, though Two Hands and Candy were almost the same characters.