He is famously the last of the great Lotharios. So many notches on the bed post he must be sleeping on sawdust by now.
He has fathered five children by four women and was briefly married, to Sandra Knight, in the 60s. But unlike Warren Beatty, who shared his reputation as an incorrigible seducer, neither age nor any woman appears to have truly claimed and tamed him.
But at nearly 71 Jack Nicholson says he has not entirely given up on the idea of one last great romance, although given his awareness of his reputation, he might just be throwing the suggestion out because it is what the media wants to hear.
"If you went and asked your friends you would find that both men and women, whether they are married or not, there is like this internal yearning that is generational. 'Let me be taken away just that one last time'. It came up not as a bucket list thing but something I thought was a good theme for a piece of writing."
The Bucket List is Jack's new film in which he and Morgan Freeman are terminal cancer patients who draw up a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket.
Although it has met with a mixed reception from the critics it has struck a chord with the public. As Jack frequently, and proudly, points out, it was the second highest scoring movie with a test audience in the history of Warner Brothers - after Harry Potter.
"I think that was the challenge, to approach this subject with humour and not be cheap humour and that was the tight-rope walk of the picture. I know these are conversations everybody has had with themselves 'do I want to be buried or cremated'. They've had it privately but you have never seen it in a movie. I think that is part of the wellspring of why it does connect."
There is no denying that no matter how many times the characters spend throwing themselves out of airplanes, getting tattoos and driving muscle cars like a couple of overgrown teens, at the end of the day they are old men confronting their own mortality.
Though Jack seems to be show no signs of slowing down - and certainly there is no slackening in demand for his services as an actor - a health scare last year which saw him hospitalised for nearly two months with a salivary gland problem, was a stark reminder of the frailty which comes with ageing.
And making a movie like this can only serve to bring that point home.
Unlike the characters in The Bucket List, Jack says he hasn't given much thought to the when of dying but he has at least pondered the how, or rather the how not.
"I am claustrophobic so I don't want to be in a tunnel collapse. Everytime there is one on television my hair gets wet. I start roiling around, so to that degree I have thought about it, but I don't have a pleasant preference," he adds with a slight grin.
Jack wears his own years lightly. Even when an eager reporter, young enough to be his granddaughter, offers to be his date for that night's premiere at the end of press conference he manages to hint that he might not be opposed to the idea with some humour, rather simply coming across like a man dating below his acceptable age range.
So did he give the eager hack his number, we ask him afterwards?
"She knows where to find me," he drawls, seemingly as pleased by the fact his answer had left his audience laughing as he was by the proposition.
But then this is Jack and his most marketable commodity as he has got older is his Jackness - the devilish twinkle in the eye that can either morph into full on villainy or an objectionableness that is, eventually, endearing.
A keen writer, he likes to be fully involved in the creative process and a smart director recognises that unleashing Jack can result in moments of cinematic brilliance, if you are prepared to accept the risks involved.
For instance, on the set of The Departed he felt the mob boss he was playing was not sufficiently intimidating Leonardo DiCaprio's undercover cop, who was trying to infiltrate his gang.
"We had shot the scene and Martin (Scorsese, the director), said 'We have to come back tomorrow and if you think of anything different that we might do with the scene, we'll take a couple of whacks at it'.
"Well I didn't sleep that night. "I got in make up, had the prop man come in and said 'get a gun, hide it near my seat and don't tell anybody'. Then as he went to leave I said 'and bring a fire extinguisher'.
"This is what happens when you turn me loose I was literally planning to light the set on fire. That was the only thing that didn't work because I forgot that brandy is not brandy it is water, so I got to that part of the scene and I couldn't get the goddamn thing on fire."
One thing that is surprising about Nicholson is his energy. He might give the impression of laid back cool, hiding his emotions behind his trademark dark glasses but Bucket List director Rob Reiner says that on set it was Morgan who exuded a Zen like calm while he and Nicholson rushed around like whirlwinds, collaborating over the script.
"Jack knows how to make phrases more interesting, colourful and just curvier," says an admiring Reiner.
The two had worked together before on A Few Good Men. Jack's memorable explosion of "You can't handle the truth" at the end of that film has entered the canon of most quotable lines in movies.
"I didn't need persuading to take this role because basically I had always wanted to work with Morgan and I'd had a nice experience of working with Rob," says Jack.
It was certainly an appealing juxtaposition, the man who has played the Devil incarnate, as well as quite a few characters possessing some of Old Nick's less redeeming qualities, with the man who is first on casting directors' speed dials when they want someone to play God.
Jack likes to play up to his image as the rule breaker. Despite the blanket ban on smoking in public buildings in the UK he lights up during the press conference and later in the hotel rooms where the interviews are being held.
"I am in favour of the no smoking ban," he says, contrary to appearances. "Smoking is a habit with me. Always has been. It is not the nicotine, it is the motor mechanism of it.
"But I Iike the ban because I don't like sitting at the table for too long so, between courses, I get up wander around, look at the room...or the ladies."
Following his hospitalisation, he was concerned that his legendary stamina would be affected, the seemingly bottomless reserves that meant when obsessive perfectionist Stanley Kubrick made him shoot 100 takes for a single scene in The Shining, he was ready to go 101.
"I used to rely on my legs to solve a lot of problems, The Dodger, I could get in and out of a room and back and you wouldn't even know," he muses. "It takes a lot of energy to do a movie and I had to pay particular attention to that fatigue and I was glad that Rob's approach was to do very fast takes."
Mentally though, he feels as agile as ever. "Seventy was the first time I felt young for my age since I was 50, that was the great bonus of it. I thought '70, I feel great'."
He says he also feels entirely comfortable asking directors to beef up his character's love life if it would better serve the script and he is determined to show that movies featuring mature people with a healthy libido should not be anathema at the box office.
"I want to bring sexuality to middle-aged characters because you know father knows best, I don't know how all those children came into being if they never took their pants off."
If he gets his way then this would surely, as a consequence, create sexier roles for older women.
"Yeah if they ask me to play an older woman I could do that..." he says with a laugh. "But yes of course, after all it takes two".