Jack Nicholson almost quit acting after starring with friend and neighbour Marlon Brando in THE MISSOURI BREAKS - because the movie heavyweight was so good.

Nicholson made a big mistake watching the dailies at the end of the first week of shooting, because it made him feel like a fraud in the presence of greatness.

Writing in a ROLLING STONE obituary on his pal, Nicholson reveals he had to be nursed "back to health" by director Arthur Penn after witnessing Brando at his best.

He recalls, "Somewhere deep in my subconscious was always this idea: 'One day you're going to be working with Marlon Brando, and you better be ready, Jack.'

"I made a big mistake: I watched some of Brando's dailies. This was a scene where he's sitting with (co-star) John McLiam (corr). I watched nine or 10 takes of this same scene. Each take was an art film in itself.

"I sat there stunned by the variety, the depth, the amount of silent articulation of what a scene meant. It was all there.

"The next day I woke up completely destroyed. The full catastrophe hit me overnight: 'Holy f***, who do you think you are, Jack? You're in a movie with Marlon Brando!'

"I was totally annihilated by him. I thought, 'What if they decide to hang me for being so crazy as to think I could be in the same country with this guy, much less in the same movie?'"

29/07/2004 09:48