March 6, 2011

Jack Nicholson, a Likable Bad Guy in "How Do You Know" (Opens March 9)

In Columbia Pictures' romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” Jack Nicholson has to make a largely unsympathetic character vulnerable, human – even likable.

The multiple Oscar-winner plays Charles, a business tycoon, who has worked all of his life for only two things: the success of his company and his son’s well-being. Paul Rudd plays his son, George, who's been wrongly indicted for stock fraud on the day he met the girl who could possibly be “the one.”

“How Do You Know” reunites Nicholson with director James L. Brooks whose films “Terms of Endearment” and “As Good As It Gets” have given the former Oscar acting trophies.

“Because of their long association, Jim and Jack wanted to make certain that the role would allow Jack to show colors he hasn’t shown before,” explains producer Laurence Mark. Amazingly enough, Nicholson has never played the father of an adult man. “So, Jack’s involvement actually affected the role in a positive way, making it even more dimensional.”

“Early in the movie, Jack’s character tells his son that if he’s forced to choose between his son and the company, even though it may kill him, he may pick the company,” says Brooks. But this is also a man who raised his son alone after his wife left them both. Would he really sell out his kid that way? “I wrote that line, I wrote the character, and I still can’t decide if that’s his core truth. The final mystery to him and everybody else is whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy. As Williaml Hurt told me a long time ago, sometimes the job is to hold the question and not to provide the answer.”

“He loves his son, but he loves himself as well, and he understands what no one else does: he is facing the possible destruction of one of the two people he loves most in the world,” explains producer Paula Weinstein. “He’s at a moment when he wants to duck for cover, but that leaves his son exposed to take the hit. It was fascinating to watch how their camaraderie and affection comes out of all that emotional confusion.”

“Because I’ve worked with Jack, it was natural to turn to him,” says Brooks. “I’m always slack-jawed at his acting, but he has moments in this movie that are as elegant as anything I’ve ever seen him do.”

“I couldn’t imagine anybody but Jack Nicholson in the role of Charles,” says Rudd. “Working with him has been one of the biggest professional thrills of my life. He has a persona that’s larger than life and he’s been the biggest name in movies for four decades, but what was amazing to me was how good an actor he is. He makes it look so easy, but he’s present every single moment he’s in front of the camera.”

Nicholson is one of the most honored actors of all time, has worked with many of the film industry’s most esteemed directors during his career, which has spanned five decades and encompassed more than 60 feature films. He most recently starred in Warner Bros. hit comedy “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and the Academy Award®-winning drama “The Departed” for director Martin Scorsese.

Opening across the Philippines on March 9, “How Do You Know” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at and join our fan contests.

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