Way back in 2003, legendary actor Jack Nicholson felt so strongly about the Iraq War that he actually tried to boycott the Oscars ceremony. Nicholson, who was nominated that year for his role in the comedy movie About Schmidt, encouraged his fellow nominees in the Best Actor category to refuse to attend, in protest of the US presence in Iraq.
Amid the tensions of post 9/11 America, the country, and indeed the world, was divided on what the correct course of action would be. And, just three days before the 2003 Oscars ceremony, the US invaded Iraq, a move which Nicholson strongly disagreed with.
Adrien Brody, who was also nominated that year, for his role in the movie based on a true story, The Pianist, revealed to The Sunday Times, that Nicholson actually assembled all the nominees for the Best Actor category at his house to discuss the problem. Turns out, Nicholson’s reportedly urged his fellow actors not to attend the Oscars ceremony, as a signal of solidarity and protest at the American occupation of Iraq.
“I said, ‘I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going,'” Brody recalled. “I said, ‘I kind of have to show up. My parents are coming. This doesn’t come around too often. I know you guys are all winners. You can sit it out. But I can’t,” the actor added.
Brody was the only first-time nominee in his category, which included Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York), Nicolas Cage (Adaptation), and Michael Caine (The Quiet American). On that basis, it makes sense that he would want to be there, and he did of course end up winning the award too, so it’s a good job he did attend the ceremony.
The Oscars has, of late, been filled with controversy and actors behaving badly, of course. You heard about the Will Smith slap, right? But, fair play to Nicholson, it’s great to see people standing up for what they believe in and using their platform for good causes.
And, not only is Nicholson a great guy with strong morals, but we also think Jack Nicholson gives the best acting performance of all time, with his role in The Shining.