58 Jack Nicholson Quotes From The Hollywood Veteran (2021)

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Looking for the best Jack Nicholson quotes?

Jack Nicholson is an incredibly recognizable Hollywood leading man, who has starred in an array of films and roles during his impressive career. In fact, his career has spanned over 60 years!

His first film was The Crybaby Killer in 1958. The noir crime film, which had been difficult to find, was released on DVD back in 2006.

His first films were low-budget films that never garnered much attention in mainstream entertainment, and he almost accepted the reality that he would have to be content with writing and directing after his successful screenplay for The Trip.

His role in the 1969 drama Easy Rider launched his on-screen career. The film only cost about $400,000 to make, yet grossed $60 million, making it a tremendous success.

These Jack Nicholson quotes reveal how he felt about acting when he was younger. With his illustrious career, he has a lot to say about acting in general! He also gets personal speaking about his love life and relationships.

Don’t forget to also check out these William James quotes on life and success from the father of psychology.

Jack Nicholson quotes about old age and musings when he was young

1. “With my sunglasses on, I’m Jack Nicholson. Without them, I’m fat and 60.” — Jack Nicholson

2. “I’m an actor who they said was wrinkled and balding and everything else when I was in my early 30s. Most of the people who wrote that who thought they were younger than me are now bald and wrinkled.” — Jack Nicholson

3. “Played tennis for years. But you can’t improve at tennis after you’re 50. You get to be in your 40s, and suddenly you’re a doubles player.” — Jack Nicholson

4. “I can’t hit on women in public anymore. I didn’t decide this; it just doesn’t feel right at my age.” — Jack Nicholson

5. “Age is the first limitation on roles that I’ve ever had to encounter, and I hit that awhile ago.” — Jack Nicholson

6. “I’m definitely still wild at heart.” — Jack Nicholson

7. “When I was in high school, I earned the pimple award and every other gross-out award.” — Jack Nicholson

8. “Well, a younger woman is a type, but not necessarily a type for me. And what is a younger woman? I mean, I’m pretty old. Almost everyone is younger.” — Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson quotes about acting and Hollywood

9. “Just let the wardrobe do the acting.” — Jack Nicholson

10. “In this industry, there are only two ways up the ladder. Rung by rung or claw your way to the top. It’s sure been tough on my nails.” — Jack Nicholson

11. “I think that’s what distinguishes Schmidt, really. In the movies now, so much of what is appealing to an audience is the dramatic or has to do with science fiction, and Schmidt is simply human. There’s no melodrama; there’s no device, It’s just about a human being.” — Jack Nicholson

12. “I worry from the moment I take a job. I worry about how I’m going to do it if I can do it… Then I walk onset, and the director says, ‘Roll’, and all of a sudden, all of it disappears and it’s all happening, and I relax, and I’m doing what I do, and I’m not even thinking about it.” — Jack Nicholson

13. “I’ve never been able to say I’ve been influenced by a list of artists I like because I like thousands and thousands and I’ve been influenced in some way by all of them.” — Jack Nicholson

14. “If you get an impulse in a scene, no matter how wrong it seems, follow the impulse. It might be something, and if it ain’t – take two!” — Jack Nicholson

15. “In other words, I wouldn’t like to be an actor if I could only be real. I like to get wild, behaviorally wild, and it’s crazy to think of any form where it’s just one way.” — Jack Nicholson

16. “I’m the last guy in the world to feel overlooked by the Academy.” — Jack Nicholson

17. “I learned a long time ago in Hollywood that the only person I should vote for is myself.” — Jack Nicholson

18. “I don’t want people to know what I’m actually like. It’s not good for an actor.” — Jack Nicholson

19. “Most of the early part of an actor’s career, you do the jobs you get.” — Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson quotes about love, women, and girlfriends

20. “There’s only two people in your life you should lie to… the police and your girlfriend.” — Jack Nicholson

21. “Well, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I haven’t been a rogue most of my life.” — Jack Nicholson

22. “If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women.” — Jack Nicholson

23. “Well, a girlfriend once told me never to fight with anybody you don’t love.” — Jack Nicholson

24. “There were points in my life where I felt oddly irresistible to women. I’m not in that state now, and that makes me sad.” — Jack Nicholson

25. “Almost everybody’s happy to be a fool for love.” — Jack Nicholson

26. “I would never complain about my life, even though I really would like to have a mate.” — Jack Nicholson

27. “I always knew there wasn’t going to be anybody to help me and emotionally support me, that whatever I did I’d have to do on my own.” — Jack Nicholson

28. “I don’t have any fear of intimacy, but rather thrive on it, which is rare in a public person.” — Jack Nicholson

29. “I never had a policy about marriage. I got married very young in life and I always think in all relationships, I’ve always thought that it’s counterproductive to have a theory on that.” — Jack Nicholson

30. “It’s not like I’m starved for company – I have a few very good lady friends – but there’s only a certain amount of times a woman wants to see you and never go out for dinner.” — Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s words of wisdom about life

31. “The minute that you’re not learning, I believe you’re dead.” — Jack Nicholson

32. “My motto is more good times.” — Jack Nicholson

33. “Beer, it’s the best damn drink in the world.” — Jack Nicholson

34. “I don’t think many people have a very good understanding of leisure and the importance it plays in our lives.” — Jack Nicholson

35. “I’ll tell you one thing: Don’t ever give anybody your best advice because they’re not going to follow it.” — Jack Nicholson

36. “I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye.” — Jack Nicholson

37. “I used to think that one of the great signs of security was the ability to just walk away.” — Jack Nicholson

38. “I am a person who is trained to look other people in the eye.” — Jack Nicholson

39. “We are going as fast as we can as soon as we can. We’re in a race against time until we run out of money.” — Jack Nicholson

40. “I’m content with the fact that I made a decent effort. That’s what I’ve always worried about: that I wouldn’t try hard enough.” — Jack Nicholson

41. “I sort of understood that when I first started that you shouldn’t repeat a success. Very often you’re going to, and maybe the first time you do, it works. And you love it. But then you’re trapped.” — Jack Nicholson

42. “I’m Irish. I think about death all the time.” — Jack Nicholson

Jackson Nicholson quotes about movies, celebrities, and films

43. “The average celebrity meets, in one year, ten times the amount of people that the average person meets in his entire life.” — Jack Nicholson

44. “There is no way you can get people to believe you on screen if they know who you really are through television.” — Jack Nicholson

45. “Frankly, I got into the movies because I like the movies a lot.” — Jack Nicholson

46. “I’m a New Wave baby, so I got very stimulated by foreign film.” — Jack Nicholson

47. “Once you’ve been really bad in a movie, there’s a certain kind of fearlessness you develop.” — Jack Nicholson

48. “It’s a slight stretch of the imagination but most people are alike in most ways so I’ve never had any trouble identifying with the character that I’m playing.” — Jack Nicholson

49. “If I go to a restaurant, there’s a very good chance that I’m going to spend my time being the mayor. If I want to have a good time, I’m happier having dinner here.” — Jack Nicholson

50. “There’s a period just before you start a movie when you start thinking, I don’t know what in the world I’m going to do. It’s free-floating anxiety. In my case, though, this is over by lunch the first day of shooting.” — Jack Nicholson

You might also like these Benjamin Button quotes about living life to the full.

51. “I don’t wanna be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.” – Jack Nicholson

52. “Acting is everybody’s favorite second job.” – Jack Nicholson

More Jack Nicholson quotes

53. “A lot of people can’t remember things because they weren’t actually there to begin with – they don’t take it all in.” – Jack Nicholson

54. “I like to not care that much about criticism, but I do care about it.” – Jack Nicholson

55. “I’m not a power person. I like everyone to be on an equal footing.” – Jack Nicholson

56. “The camera photographs what’s there.” – Jack Nicholson

57. “I don’t have any plugs or tucks but people do what they want. I look at it as mutilation.” – Jack Nicholson

58. “I hate giving advice, because people won’t take it.” – Jack Nicholson

Which of these Jack Nicholson quotes is your favorite?

In 1980, Jack Nicholson starred in Stephen King’s, The Shining, which just might be one of his most significant roles. It is the first one I think of. Well, that and Anger Management.

The films, and roles, are complete opposites, but that’s the thing that makes Jack a wonderful actor. He can play any character you throw at him—homicidal maniac, grieving spouse, crazy therapist, mob boss, or dying man.

He is so talented that you forget all his other roles and believe he is what he is displaying on the screen. Who is the real Jack Nicholson, one might wonder?

Well, he has only been married once back in the 60s to Sandra Knight. He has five children: one with Knight, one with Susan Anspach, one with Winnie Hollman, and two with Rebecca Broussard.

Fatherhood is the most critical role of his lifetime, as evidenced by this Jack Nicholson quote, “Children give your life a resonance that it can’t have without them … As a father, I’m there all the time. I give unconditional love.”

Do you have a favorite Jack Nicholson quote you want to share? Leave it in the comments below, along with your favorite Nicholson film. You might help someone find a new favorite.

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