Al Pacino He had reached a point in his life where he was looking back, which is integral to writing memoirs.
After publicly admitting that he has, in fact, been writing about his life and career lately, the legendary actor sat down for an interview with David Rubinstein at 92NY New York, where he once again looked back.
As part of their People Who Inspire Us series, The Godfather and Scarface opened up about some behind-the-scenes truths that are perfect examples of the power of cause and effect, even when it comes to a single life decision.
When asked if there were any roles he regretted passing on during his career, he replied, “I turned down Star Wars (1977).”
His decision came at a time when Pacino was offered nearly every leading role after starring in a succession of classics: The Godfather (1972), Serpico (1973), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Dog Day Afternoon (1975).
Looking back: Al Pacino. who turns 83 on April 25, takes a look back at his long and storied career as an A-list actor in an interview with David Rubenstein on 92NY New York.
“So I was there and all of a sudden they gave me a script called Star Wars,” he said of the role playing Han Solo. But I don’t understand that.”
Ultimately, his lack of understanding of the story was the reason he passed on the role, which ended up going to Harrison Ford, who was more than happy to play Han Solo considering his career up to that point had mostly consisted of bit parts and supporting roles.
“I gave Harrison Ford a career he never thanked me for,” Pacino joked during the conversation. Hollywood Reporter.
As fans around the world know, Star Wars has become a cultural phenomenon, with the original film grossing $775.8 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of just $11 million.
And it didn’t end there. Ford would reprise Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of The Jedi (1983) and again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).
While Pacino may be missing out on a huge money-making franchise like Star Wars, he’s got one try with The Godfather, which has the distinction of having a sequel that many believe is as good or better than the original.
But despite being director Francis for Coppola’s first choice to play Michael Corleone, there was a time during the filming of The Godfather that Pacino was nearly fired.
Remembering a conversation he and Coppola had at the time, and dailies coming in from the set, some studio executives were so engrossed in his performance that they wanted to replace him before it was too late.
He said, “You know, I had a lot of faith in you. And you’re letting me down,” the actor shared. I’m standing there thinking “what are you doing, what have you done?”
Career regret: During the conversation that was part of the People Who Inspire Us series, Pacino revealed that he turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars that went to Harrison Ford, which he would regret,
A role in jeopardy: Pacino’s breakthrough role came as Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972), but early in the shoot some studio executives were eager to replace him. The cast included James Caan, Marlon Prado, and John Cazale (all pixelated), as well as Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and Diane Keaton.
No credibility: Pacino shot down long-circulating rumors that he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for The Godfather in the Best Actor category, rather than Best Supporting Actor: “How does a story like that come out?” Pacino said in disbelief. “I wasn’t upset – are you kidding me?”
His early critics were unimpressed by his development and early incarnation of Michael Corleone shown in the dailies, raw, unedited footage shot during the making of a motion picture.
He explained his way of thinking: “I wanted to get out of nowhere, and by the end of the movie kind of create a puzzle.” “His transmission is what intrigued me, and I thought I couldn’t save him. After the first day of shooting, Diane Keaton and I drank. We thought ‘That’s it, our jobs are over.'” This is a mess.”
He credits Coppola with helping save him from being fired from the film by changing the sequence of the shooting schedule in order to feature Pacino in one of the film’s iconic and dramatic scenes.
Solozzo scene, where Michael shoots the cop. Coppola pushed it, because he thought Paramount was about to fire me,” he said, adding, “I do the scene, they loved it, and they kept me in it because I shot somebody.” ‘
Not only did Pacino save up for his role in The Godfather, but it went on to earn him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, which was one of 11 films he received.
Clever move: Longtime Hollywood leading man David Rubinstein hosts Francis Ford animated Michael Corleone’s portrayal of a cop scene in The Godfather to help quell all talk of replacing Pacino with another actor in the original.
While looking back on his breakout role on the silver screen, Pacino was also asked to clear up long-running rumors about his displeasure at receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination, though there were more lines then Brando, who won Best Actor for his role. Incredible portrayal as the boss of the family, Vito Corleone.
“How do you get a story like that out?” Pacino said in disbelief. “I wasn’t upset – are you kidding me?”
Along with Brando’s Academy Award win, the classic drama film also brought home wins for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
The Godfather, with a screenplay by Mario Puzo and Coppola, was a box office hit, grossing $250-291 million against a $6-7.2 million budget, all while being considered one of the biggest and most influential films of all time. since when.
Two years later, several stars who were not “hit” in the original reprized their roles in the title role in The Godfather II (1974), alongside Robert De Niro, who played young Vito Corleone when he emigrates from Sicily. , Italy to New York City, and his rise to prominence in the world of organized crime.
The film now has the distinction of being the first sequel to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, which was just one of six Oscars won by De Niro for Best Actor and Coppola for Best Director.
Long-running debate: “The Godfather is more interesting,” Pacino stated when asked which of the first two films in the series is the best.
The leading man of Scarface also focused on a long-running discussion that often takes place during trivia games and conversations. Which is the best movie: The Godfather or The Godfather II?
“The Godfather is funnier. The Godfather II is this study, this personal thing of Francis (Ford Coppola),” explained the New York City native. I’ve been seeing it lately. Godfather, there’s always two or three things going on in a scene. You’re always in the story, you going.”, he explained, before praising both films.
He continued, “You never know what’s going to happen next, it’s storytelling, it’s really storytelling at its best.” The Godfather II turns into a linear kind, and (it’s) a different, sad, slow-moving kind. But it’s a great movie, I must say.
Pacino thought the sequel was “artistic” while also calling it a “different” movie compared to the original.
Pacino has continued to correspond that he is currently writing a memoir with a co-author.
When you get to that age, you start doing things like that. I stayed out of it, Pacino said, but I think I have to kind of talk about certain things. “It’s fine, I have kids and everything, it would be a good idea, and I’m working on it.”
Iconic: The Godfather II (1974) is the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture