Rob Reiner’s 1992 film A Few Good Men, featured a star-studded cast including Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise, Kevin Pollak, Demi Moore, and Kevin Bacon. The film had one of the most iconic lines, which Jack Nicholson delivered, “You can’t handle the truth.“
Adapted from Aaron Sorkin’s 1989 play of the same name, the film shows a military court trial where two U.S. Marines face charges for the murder of a fellow Marine. The narrative is centered around how the legal teams prepare their cases for the defense and prosecution of the accused.
Jack Nicholson Put On An Acting Masterclass
While speaking to Rich Eisen, Kevin Pollak shared an incident during filming where Jack Nicholson refused Rob Reiner’s attempts to direct him. While such behavior might be expected from an actor like Pollak, it may not be as readily understood when coming from a director.
Pollak said (via YouTube):
“Most actors hate line readings because, ‘Woah, are you saying not like that. That I should do it like you’re doing it?’. It’s an unspoken agreement that directors should not give line readings.”
Kevin Pollak recounted the rehearsal where Jack Nicholson joined them to practice the courtroom soliloquy. The cast observed as Nicholson flawlessly performed the soliloquy, almost mirroring what would eventually be seen in the film. Their anticipation grew as they waited for him to complete the performance.
Following Nicholson’s impressive rendition, Rob Reiner extended his compliments but couldn’t resist offering some guidance in the form of, unsurprisingly, line readings. In response, Nicholson delivered a wry remark, stating in a composed manner, “I guess I’m not there yet,” eliciting laughter from everyone present on the set. “It could’ve gone awkward really fast,” Pollak said.
Pollak went on to explain that Nicholson’s response was a subtly expressed way of acknowledging the appreciation but implying he didn’t specifically seek anyone’s input.
Kevin Pollak’s Mother Flirted With Jack Nicholson
Kevin Pollak, who played Lt. Sam Weinberg in A Few Good Men, revealed that Nicholson often teased him because his mother was showing interest in The Pledge star. To deter her, Nicholson even jokingly advised the young actor, saying, “Kev… get your mom off my as*.” Pollak also emphasized that he felt too awkward to say anything in that situation, as reported by The US Sun.
During the filming of a scene, he noticed his excited mother over Nicholson’s shoulder, thoroughly enjoying herself. He joked that his mother had completely abandoned him for Jack Nicholson. He further mentioned that his mother was within his sight, engaged in a comfortable conversation with Nicholson, yet he couldn’t discern what she was saying due to the significant distance between them.