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Quote of the Day: Jack Nicholson on Miserable Role

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May 22, 2002 | 9:23am EDT

Actor Jack Nicholson, whose latest tragi-comedy About Schmidt is competing for the coveted Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, to Reuters Wednesday about his performance as Warren Schmidt, a retired man facing up to his mediocre life:

"I couldn't look at myself in the mirror the whole three months I was doing this picture because I thought I would never return to myself....This is the least vain performance I think I've ever given. You know, no shadow under the chin.

"He's a miserable man to inhabit, worse than any drama I've ever done. You don't get the joke when you're playing the character; you just have to be that guy, so it was trying in that way."

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