Chaplin described Nijinsky as “a serious man, beautiful looking, with high cheekbones and sad eyes, who gave the impression of a monk in civilian clothes….I have seen few geniuses in the world, and Nijinsky was one of them.”
Nijinsky watched Chaplin at work for two days.* He never laughed but sat behind the camera “looking sadder and sadder.” “Nevertheless,” Chaplin wrote, “at the end of each day he would compliment me. ‘Your comedy is balletique, you are a dancer,’ he said.”
Chaplin paid homage to Nijinsky’s legendary performance of L’Apres-midi d’un Faune during his dance with the wood nymphs in Sunnyside (1919).
*In My Autobiography, Chaplin remembered incorrectly that Nijinsky watched while he was filming The Cure.