American actor Jack Nicholson holding a pistol, as Andre Duvalier in 'The Terror', directed by Roger Corman, 1963. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Jack Nicholson Has One Key Bit Of Advice For Aspiring Actors
In 1986, when the New York Times' Ron Rosenbaum visited Jack Nicholson at his home, Nicholson was in the midst of a Strasbergian exercise, singing to “diagnose his instrument.” Having been a successful actor for over 15 years at that point, it comes as no surprise that when asked for his advice to young actors, he emphasized studying.
Speaking to the Chicago Tribune in 1985, Nicholson encouraged actors to always work on their craft. He explained, “Studying like that is the main advice I would give. You have to invest. And then ultimately after you get your craft together, it becomes a matter of what do you have to say. And that comes from growing as a person and from observation.”
For the “One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest” star, studying was crucial only insofar as it prepared you for your big break. Nicholson wisely advised young actors, “Everybody gets their shot. So you better set yourself up so that you've only got to be lucky once.” In his case, he had to work in low budget horror films before getting his big chance in “Easy Rider.”