This interview with Jack Nicholson happened in ’07, when the renowned actor was 70. With his half-raspy, half-wheezy tobacco voice and gutty tee-hee chuckle, Jack sounds like Barnacle Bill…like some old coot smoking an old stogie or a corncob pipe while sitting in a creaky rocking chair. And he wasn’t even that old. He’s 82 now, and even that‘s not so old. Ask Norman Lloyd.
I’m not buying the Godfather anecdote. First, Nicholson could have never sold himself as an Italian-American. He’s an Irishman from New Jersey, and no amount of deft acting could have hidden that fact. Secondly, I’ve always understood that he didn’t turn down The Godfather offer because he was “doing something else” (Nicholson is almost certainly alluding to The King of Marvin Gardens, which shot during the winter months of late ’71 and early ’72) as much as his belief that he was too old to play a character in his mid 20s, Michael Corleone having been born around 1920. Nicholson turned 35 in ’72, and looked it.