The classic Jack Nicholson movie that inspired Robert Pattinson to show the world the “middle finger”

Whilst both might be film stars, on the face of it, there is much that separates Jack Nicholson and Robert Pattinson. The former is one of cinema’s ultimate hellraisers and one of the greatest character actors of his generation. The star of hits such as Easy RiderChinatown and The Shining has carved out a rich legacy in the world of cinema. Displaying his dramatic gift, he has 12 Academy Award nominations, making him the most nominated male actor in the history of the prestigious ceremony, with three wins in total.

Running alongside Nicholson’s career are the stories of his hard-partying lifestyle, and although he is now 85, the tales remain something of Hollywood folklore. Indicative of his colourful character, when writing in his 2013 memoir Nicholson, Marc Eliot wrote of the actor’s experiments with LSD alongside Bruce Dern and Harry Dean Stanton: “Jack’s experiences with the drug were life-changing. He believed after taking it the first time that he had seen the face of God. He also had castration fantasies, homoerotic fantasies, and revelations about not being wanted as an infant.” Elsewhere, the Chinatown star has been described as “the guy men want to be, and women want to bed”.

As for Robert Pattinson, he remains something of a millennial hero. His first major role came in the fourth instalment of the Harry Potter series, The Goblet of Fire, as the fresh-faced Cedric Diggory. However, it was thanks to his performance as the pale-faced heartthrob Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga that he became a fixture of popular culture. Whilst the role of the vampire was the butt of jokes for many, towards the tail end of the 2010s, Pattinson eventually saw his standing change for the better.

He received kudos from across the board for his performances in the Safdie brothers’ 2017 crime drama Good Time, Claire Denis’ 2018 offering High Life, and Robert Eggers’ 2019 hit The Lighthouse. After starring as the eponymous hero in Matt Reeves’ 2022 blockbuster The Batman, Pattinson confirmed that his flourishes at the end of the last decade were not a false dawn.

There might be evident differences between the characters and stories of Robert Pattinson and Jack Nicholson, but the inspiration is clear. When listing his five favourite films for Rotten Tomatoes in 2008, Pattinson revealed that 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which won ‘Best Actor’, for Nicholson, “influenced him so much”. He claims that the film impacted his attitude to life.

Pattinson said: “The films that I like aren’t necessarily because they’re good films in themselves — One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a good film — but that one specifically meant a lot to me. Not because I was in a mental home or anything, but that character influenced me so much when I was 15 or 16, and bits of it stuck with me. A lot of that kind of ‘putting your middle finger up to the world’ attitude — not that I really have that, but…I used to be so timid, and that was one of those films that [helped me break out], by pretending to be [Jack Nicholson’s character] Randle.”

While we may be some way away from Patitnson becoming Hollywood’s wildest man and coming close to matching up with Nicholson, his rebellious spirit is clearly ingrained in the British actor’s ethos for living.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Official Trailer #1 - Jack Nicholson Movie HD

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button