Jack Nicholson is in a grand suite in an upmarket hotel overlooking New York’s Central Park, enjoying the view – and, in a city with some of the world’s most draconian smoking laws, his 12th cigarette of the day. At 73 years of age, he is a man who remains implacably resistant to rules.
As he says in that mesmerising, molasses-mixed-with-gravel drawl, now wreathed in smoke, ‘It’s a hard-wired thing in me. I’m not good with being told. I just immediately start resisting the situation… I overreact to having my attention directed.’
And then his face slowly breaks into the iconic Joker smile.