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Jack Nicholson’s dildo shocked Matt Damon on The Departed set

Jack Nicholson had an original idea that he brought to the set of The Departed, and it was a surprise to Matt Damon when he faced up to a dildo.

Jack Nicholson in The Departed

Unexpected things can happen on movie sets: these are volatile places, with people working under stress and strain in a creative setting. But something that Matt Damon wasn’t expecting to have to confront on the set of The Departed was Jack Nicholson’s dildo.

Speaking to FilmInk, Matt Damon elaborated on the moment where he came face to face with the prop, explaining why it happened and how Nicholson’s dildo improved the thriller movie. The actor said, “we were shooting a scene in a porn movie theatre, so [director Martin Scorsese] says, ‘Well, OK, I’ll just get to it. Jack’s going to wear a dildo!’ And so I thought, ‘Well, alright, you know, so be it.'”

According to Damon the dildo was Nicholson’s idea rather than the director’s, explaining that Nicholson said, “So here’s the deal — I’m going to come in and I’m going to sit there in the overcoat and I’m gonna turn around and pull out the big dildo and we’re gonna laugh.'”

While Damon says that it was a total surprise – and that it even happened on his first day of working with Nicholson – he also thinks it added another layer to the drama movie. “Jack really brought this incredible new element to that character. He made him more obscene in a way that felt authentic, because these guys sublimate sex into violence and violence into sex and it really is how a lot of those things did occur.”

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Damon is right to note that the moment is one of many that adds an unsettling depth to Nicholson’s role, leaving the audience with plenty to chew on after it’s over. Jack Nicholson’s character, and his performance, are some of the greatest elements of The Departed which is a famous  gripping crime thriller movie starring Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matt Damon (quite the holy trinity).

It ranks among Martin Scorsese’s best movies, and saw him return in-full to the crime genre where he made his name. For more on some of cinema’s biggest names, check out our guide to the best Steven Spielberg movies and the best Dwayne Johnson movies.