Jack Nicholson

The idea of interviewing Jack Nicholson seemed unlikely, even with Steven Spielberg guest-editing the 20th birthday issue of Empire magazine. Nicholson doesn’t do a lot of press and until literally the last minute – even when I was in his front room, talking to his assistant – the interview was in the balance. I was told it could be very, very brief. In the end it lasted more than an hour and a half.
Even as it was going on I knew it was the best thing I’d ever do in film journalism. He knew it, too.
“Bet this is fun for you, hearing stories about Stanley?” he grinned, over a cigarette. I know I’m supposed to be a professional, I know I should probably play it cool, but hearing Nicholson talk about Kubrick, The Shining and, well, life, was beyond brilliant. One half of your brain is going ‘Pay attention, ask good questions’, the other half: ‘BLOODY HELL IT’S JACK NICHOLSON, YOU ARE IN JACK NICHOLSON’S HOUSE, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN YOU ARE FROM BARNSTAPLE’. Anyway, you can see if I fanboyed too much here.