Jack Nicholson Says He Has Lost Ability To Attract Women, Haz A Sad

Illustration for article titled Jack Nicholson Says He Has Lost Ability To Attract Women, Haz A Sad

Jack is — regretfully — unwilling to be a dirty old man.

There are many rueful soundbytes from Jack Nicholson in this Daily Mail article (titled "The Melancholy Confessions of Jack Nicholson." ) Basically, he's okay with aging but misses his mojo. And while there's no question that in the past 10 years he suddenly lost the sex-symbol aura he carried successfully through As Good As It Gets, it's also true that unlike some people, he's not tried to play romantic roles; rather, he's managed to work eccentricity and iconic charm in vehicles like About Schmidt and even the mediocre Whatever It Takes. In short, even if he's no sex symbol these days — not that we're guessing he's hurting for companionship, youthful or otherwise — he's still very much an actor. Whereas the end of "sex appeal" for an actress of comparable age might mean the end of her career, too, he's still Jack Nicholson. And to his credit, he's no longer hitting on women "in public" anymore. Although we're guessing the private varietal might be even more awkward.


A few choice quotes?

On losing his power over women:

I'm definitely still wild at heart. But I've struck bio-gravity. I can't hit on women in public any more. I didn't decide this; it just doesn't feel right at my age...If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women. 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. But I also believe that a lot of the improvements in my character have come through ageing and the diminishing of powers. It's all a balancing act; you just have to get used to the ride.

On plastic surgery:

I haven't had surgery. I don't want to be judgemental, but some of the things you see these days in Hollywood are a bit horrifying. I mean, I don't know what's going on here, but I don't want to scare people...‘I mean, if someone can fool me with a new chest or lips, then I'm happy to be fooled. But I have to admit I have a prejudice against it. I'm not worried about wrinkles, in myself or in women. I find them interesting.

On ankle hair:

I can't see so well, so sometimes I look in the mirror and I see how I was as a young man. But a few years back I noticed I don't have any hair below my sock line, and I thought to myself, "Jackie, that's an old man."'


On loneliness:

I've had everything a man could ask for, but I don't know if anyone could say I'm successful with affairs of the heart. I don't know why. I would love that one last real romance. But I'm not very realistic about it happening. What I can't deny is my yearning. I've been in love in my life, but it always starts with obsession that lasts exactly 18 months and then it changes. If I'd known and been prepared for that, I may have been able to orchestrate the whole relationship thing better. But when I'm with someone I've often defied every one of my conventions. I've been so struck I've said, "Come on, let's go, let's get married." But no woman has ever recognised what I say as being legitimate. They think of my reputation, Jack the Jumper. I'm damned by what people think. Now I think I have a gap I won't ever cross


On eating in:

I would never complain about my life, even though I really would like to have a mate. 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.


We're guessing plenty of them are okay with the private-chef alternative...but then, it depends on the woman. Frankly, we're a lot more interested in hearing about his views on Roman Polanksi than finding love — given that the rape occurred in his house and his name was notably absent from the infamous support petition — but maybe that kind of questioning doesn't become a legend most. Particularly when he's promoting a rom-com.

Jack Nicholson No Longer Irresistible To Women [CTV]
'I Used To Feel Irresistible To Women. Not Any More': The Melancholy Confessions Of Jack Nicholson [Daily Mail]
'How Do You Know' Star Jack Nicholson: 'I Really Would Like To Have A Mate' [NYDaily News]



The less kind part of me wants to point out that if Nicholson still thought of himself as irresistable ten years ago he was already a dirty old man (and kind of delusional). It doesn't seem so much that he's decided not to be a dirty old man as that he's accepted that continuing to do so makes him look undignified enough to make people think poorly of him, even in our sexist culture. So in the end he's motivated by vanity.

It's weird, though. I used to have no sympathy at all for men's worries about ageing, because women have it so much worse. But then recently there's this guy I've been working with a lot - rocker dude, very nice, very sexy, very much famous for being sexy. And it's gradually dawned on me how frightened he is of losing his mojo. He's only 41 and it's already eating at him to the point where he's fishing for reassurance that he's still hot enough to compete with younger peers. And in this case, rather than annoying me, I just kind of feel sad for him that the fear is already there even though honestly he IS still really hot.

I dunno, maybe it takes watching a fear affect someone you actually like enough to care about their happiness to feel empathy even though honestly they're still relatively privileged.