With a successful acting career that spans over five decades, Jack Nicholson is considered to be one of the greatest and most iconic actors of our generation. He was renowned for playing rebellious characters and delivering performances that left a lasting impression in the minds of the viewers.
Time and again, Nicholson has proved why he was one of the most dedicated and interesting actors out there as he has worked in films such as Something’s Gotta Give, Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, and many more films.
Jack Nicholson preferred films that offered him to play a plethora of roles, and Chinatown was one of those movies that gave him the opportunity. The 1974 film has been referred to as one of the greatest detective stories ever created, and the actor’s performance was the highlight of the film. However, during the reunion of the film, Nicholson recalls how Roman Polanski was annoyed with his act that almost tanked the film.
Roman Polanski Wasn’t a Fan of Jack Nicholson’s Talking Style
Marking the 30th anniversary of Chinatown, The Guardian decided to bring together the four men, who were responsible for creating Roman Polanski’s noirish tale of the corruption of Los Angeles. During the reunion, the men talked about different aspects of the film such as how Polanski felt the ending written by Robert Towne was too soft, and how fights would often take place while making the detective thriller.
Robert Evans, the producer and the former head of Paramount Studios shared that the set had a hostile environment, as they felt it was too much money to spend on a movie.
“It sounds easy 30 years later. But the view at the studio was a lot more hostile. We thought that was far too much money to spend on a movie that only people in Chinatown would see.”
Jack Nicholson shared that this disagreement used to make Polanski enraged. He, then added that the director used to scream at him because he was not a fan of his unique act, which he felt was perfect for a detective to play in the 70s.
“I didn’t know we were pariahs. I thought we were as hot as firecrackers. Every director implored me, ‘Jack, can’t you talk a little bit faster?’ It was like a hot button for me and I would become hateful. So when Roman started to say it, I began and he said, ‘Jack, this movie is 100-and-something pages long. To have a movie that is screenable, you’ll have to talk a little faster.'”
Luckily, Jack Nicholson understood Polanski’s reasoning to be angry, and the final version of the movie is 131 minutes long. Regardless of the film’s length, it was a massive hit at the box office as it earned $23.1 million at the box office, and became an evergreen movie to watch with friends or family.
Faye Dunaway Accused Roman Polanski of Being “Incessantly Cruel”
Chinatown is undeniably a masterpiece of a film, but it managed to spark debate among the viewers of the film, due to its association with the acclaimed director, Roman Polanski. The debate became hotter as the film got entangled with controversies, allegations, and legal charges, but there was also noticeable stress on the film set.
The tension rose when people learned that the director occasionally had conflicts with the Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway. The feud on the set of Chinatown remains a topic of conversation and intense fascination even after all those years. Despite many people having mentioned how working with Dunaway is extremely problematic, she described Polanski in her autobiography, as someone who’s “incessantly cruel”, and driven by a “never-ending need to humiliate,” as reported by Far Out Magazine.
On the other hand, The Pianist director mentions how the actress showcased signs of “insanity,” when she abruptly left the set, comparing her reaction to his act of plucking his hair whenever she disrupted his ‘perfect’ scene.
Further revelations disclose that Dunaway was denied a bathroom break between takes. In spite of these challenges, the actress claims, she maintained her composure, and responded only when the situation demanded it. The Network actress endured these obstacles silently, however, she regarded Polanski’s behavior as “bordered on s*xual harassment”.
Chinatown can be streamed on Paramount+.
Source: The Guardian