That’s why Jack Nicholson refused to star in Misery


Jack Nicholson, The Shining, Misery

Jack Nicholson for large stretches of the 70s and 80s he was one of the most loved actors in the world. Dozens of his interpretations have made the history of cinema. One of these is certainly the one he did in 1980, when he starred in Shining from Stanley Kubrick.

That was one of the works that brought both Jack Nicholson and Kubrick to the Olympus of cinema, despite the strong criticism leveled by the writer of the work to which the film was inspired, Stephen King. In fact, the writer from Maine has never hidden his strong antipathy towards the work done by the New York director. Over the years there have been many films based on King’s novels. The one that was most successful in the years following Shining it certainly was Misery doesn’t have to die, from 1990, directed by Rob Reiner.

The plot revolves around Paul Sheldon, famous writer who ends up immobilized in the bed of one of his fans, the nurse Annie Wilkes who literally goes crazy when he discovers that the writer wants his heroine, Misery, to die in the next book.

The film was acclaimed by critics especially for the performance of the two leading actors, Kathy Bates who won the Oscar and James Caan who has become the face of Paul Sheldon for the whole world. However, before the part was awarded to him, Jack Nicholson was very close to becoming the protagonist of Misery but turned down the job. In fact, the New Jersey actor was afraid to recite in a work taken from King’s novels as he feared that the production could be as manic as the one it was in The Shining even if at that juncture the cause was to be found in the almost pathological perfectionism of Kubrick.

How would you have seen good Jack in bed being bullied by Kathy Bates?


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