Al Pacino is the certified G.O.A.T. We’re talking about the same man who played Vincent “She’s got a great ass!” Hanna in Heat. An incredible, Oscar-winning actor known and beloved for his bravado launched his career with a very different role: the introverted Michael Corleone in a little movie called The Godfather. Perhaps some of our readers have heard of it. But if they haven’t, Pacino plays the Michael Bluth of his mafioso family, building a career outside the mob in hopes of never being dragged into a life of crime. It didn’t turn out that way, as director Francis Ford Coppola explores across 20 years and three films.
Paramount is going all out with the film’s 50th anniversary on the horizon, re-releasing the movie in theaters and 4k Blu-ray with a brand new restoration. But also, it’s giving us fans of movies and pop culture (i.e., us intelligent, beautiful people) a chance to reflect on what they’ve meant to us. But, of course, it’s also giving people like Al Pacino a chance too.
Speaking with The New York Times, Pacino takes us back to where it all began and the insecurity he felt regarding the role, his career, and working with absolute legends like Marlon Brando and legends-in-the-making like James Caan. The conversation allows Pacino to remind us that The Godfather was a phenomenon before everyone’s dad started saying, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.”
It was a big deal already. It was a big book. When you’re an actor, you don’t even put your eyes on those things. They don’t exist for you. You’re in a certain place in your life where you’re not going to be accepted in those big films — not yet, at least. And he said, not only was he directing it, [breaking into laughter] but he wanted me to do it. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh here. It just seemed so outrageous. Here I am, talking to somebody who I think is flipped out. I said, what train am I on? OK. Humor the guy. And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, OK, I’ll go along with this. I said, yes, Francis, good. You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say, “Yes! Of course! Yes!” But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was given the part.