The notion that any living individual could inspire something as nutty as Mulholland Drive is quite frankly worrying, but according to David Lynch that appears to be the case. Or rather one particular scene seems to have been the product of some real-life wild ways.
Lynch’s unfathomably trippy 2001 release left fans scared and perplexed but otherwise utterly thrilled. It is a movie so far detached from the norm that it’s difficult to see exactly how any details could pertain to reality.
Jack Nicholson not only inspired a scene in the movie, but he also seems to be mystically attached to the project in a multitude of ways.
Firstly, Nicholson’s Hollywood nickname is ‘Mulholland Man’ owing to the fact that he starred in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown which features a fictionalised depiction of William Mulholland, a real-life civil engineer, after whom the actual Mulholland Drive is named.
Whether or not this extraneous backstory was in Lynch’s mind when chose the name and setting for the movie is anyone’s guess, but Nicholson most certainly had an undeniable direct impact on the project too.
It might not be quite as haunting as the “he’s the one who’s doing it” line in the iconic diner scene, but Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux) smashing the windshield of a producer’s car with a golf club is still very unsettling in its own jarringly violent way. It is a scene of fantastical fiction with roots that are very much true to life.
Back in 1994 Anger Management star, Jack Nicholson was accused of doing the exact same. The Oscar-winning actor was charged with misdemeanour vandalism and assault for allegedly smashing the windshield of a car with a golf club because he believed the driver cut him off in traffic. Presumably, the most disturbing moment for the victim was when they realised that the man attacking their car happened to be one of the biggest names in cinema history.
The charges were eventually dropped after Nicholson apologised for the incident and reportedly settled the matter out of court with the car owner for an astronomical fee rumoured to be around half a million dollars.
Although a malicious act of violence, thankfully of all the mad moments in the movie it is one of the least disturbing for someone to have been attached to. That being said, of all the suspects in Hollywood capable of spawning such madness, Nicholson wouldn’t have been far from the first guess.
You can relive the aforementioned diner scene, below.