As I’ve mentioned over and over, The Sun (a UK tabloid) often makes things up completely, or they grab quotes from old interview and pass them off as new. So The Sun has a “new” interview with Jack Nicholson which they are claiming is a new piece. I don’t know if it is. It’s interesting and it sounds sort of like Jack, so maybe it’s for real. Other sites are running it as new too, so whatever. You can read the full piece here, and I’m including some highlights below. The gist of the piece is “Jack Nicholson talks about what he’s learned and what he would tell his 18-year-old self.”
What he wishes he knew at 18: “WHAT I wish I knew at 18? Everything — from wishing I learned a foreign language to becoming a good chef. I was a short order cook for a while in New Jersey in between acting jobs. One day, a woman came in to ask for pancakes and my pancake came out about three inches thick. She said: “What the hell is this?” I lost my temper, hit the pancake and said: “Make your own damn pancakes!” So you can add wishing I knew how to control my temper to that list.”
Anger and apologies: “Anger has always been a problem and every once in a while I just have to let it out. I always regret it later. After a couple of hours I calm down and think: “What way could I have solved that problem other than blowing up?” I should have learned how to do that long ago and that would have made my life easier — with less apologising.”
Children: “I also wish I had known how much joy that having children can bring. I didn’t see enough of my eldest daughter (Jennifer, 48, from his only marriage to actress Sandra Knight in the 1960s) because I was trying to make a career. I have a daughter Lorraine (aged 22) and son Raymond (aged 20, both from his relationship with actress Rebecca Broussard, now 49), with whom I was able to spend much more time.”
Fears: “I give out advice all the time. I say: “Do not lie, do not steal and do not be afraid.” Especially, the last one. Fear stops us doing things. I also say it’s the things that you do NOT do in life that cause regret. So I don’t like to think of my fears because that would give away my secrets. I try to make sure that there is some joy in my life every day. It doesn’t matter whether it is watching my daughter act in a play or celebrating Obama becoming President.”
Optimism and gigolos: “I learned years ago to be an optimist, because to be any other way seems to make it worse. I could have told my 18-year-old self the same thing and saved a lot of worrying. I am an extreme person. If someone says: “Jack, you are a womaniser” I don’t deny it. But the life of a gigolo always ends badly. That is one of the reasons I feel uncomfortable about all that “sex legend” stuff. I no longer have the energy to both work and fool around. So the last few movies I’ve done, I have hardly left the hotel at nights.”
He’s had long-time lovers: “There are also women I have seen, intimately, for a very long time over my life. Unexpected, perhaps, but true.”
If Jack actually said this stuff, I don’t have any problems with it. He was a hellraiser and womanizer and he had anger problems and all of that, but I really do think he’s probably living a much quieter life at this point, and his wisdom is a double-edged sword. Meaning that he wouldn’t be half as “wise” about life if he hadn’t lived so hard and so fully in his youth. I also wonder if he imparts his wisdom on the pretty young starlets he “mentors”.
Photos courtesy of WENN.