In a recent interview, The Observer asked Karen who was her favorite actor to have worked with and, no surprise, it’s Jack Nicholson when she co-starred with him in Five Easy Pieces (the third film in our The Works – Karen Black series). Five Easy Pieces is a truly magnificent film – mean, touching, rebellious, frustrated, funny, and quite sad. Don’t miss it this weekend – buy tickets here!

Who was your favorite actor to work with, and why? Your favorite movie to act in?

I would say it has to be Jack Nicholson. Five Easy Pieces was really my first real movie. There was Easy Rider, but in this, I had the leading lady role. Jack was so validating, he gave me so much support. He used to say, “You’ve got a lot of moves, Blackie.” He’s such a generous human; I don’t think you could train Jack to be manipulative. You could give him a four year training manipulation course and it wouldn’t take. He’s just him. He’s like Ryan Gosling. The reason you feel close to them is very simple: there’s no bullshit there. So you really are close to him. You’re face to face with the real guy. He would actually be tortured until he got a scene right. Until it was as good as he could get it. Jack and I had a profound respect for one another. He’s a great man.