July 29, 2012

An Evening with Al Pacino

So as you may or may not know, Al Pacino was doing a talk in Niagara Falls last night and I was lucky enough to go along and see him. I have to say that he is one of the most entertaining people I’ve ever seen. He is extremely funny, self deprecating, intelligent and just all round talented.

He was asked what his favourite movie was that he’d made and replied Scarface; he talked about how it was underappreciated in its time but is pleased that it’s found an audience today. He described it as deliberately over the top and operatic.

The guy interviewing him was an annoying, pretentious, up-tight arse and Al clearly didn’t have much time for him. The crowd just wanted to hear Al talk about his career, which he thankfully did.

He’s quite an eccentric character and would pull out a harmonica every so often and start playing it, then burst into a random song, it was hilarious.

Al spent a lot of time talking about the theatre and how that is his one true love. He prefers it to movies as he finds it more thrilling, you don’t to have a million takes until you get it right, you have to get it right, the first time.  He came up with a great analogy where he described the theatre like a tightrope. You have to walk along the tightrope and there is no safety net underneath.

He talked about some circus performers who walked the high wire and were killed one night when the performance went wrong. One of the survivors was back up on the wire a few weeks later and someone asked them “How can you do this again, after what happened?” The performer smiled and said “Life is the wire, anything else is just waiting.”

Al went on to explain how he lives for the theatre and it’s all about the thrill of the experience, the man just loves his craft.

When the interviewer asked him how he discovered Shakespeare, Al replied “Oh he just came to my house one day, real nice guy as well”. The audience laughed but the interviewer smiled politely.

Al then went on to discuss his role in The Godfather, which was fascinating, the studio really didn’t want him in the role but Coppola insisted, it took several months for them to convince the studio that THIS was the guy who had to play Michael Corleone. Coppola showed the Execs some clips from Panic in Needle Park and they were immediately convinced.

One thing which annoyed me about the evening was the fact that we weren’t allowed to ask him any questions, Al was totally up for it and was ready to be asked anything, but the interviewing arse said, NO we can’t do that, we must stick to procedure, which was met with a thousand boos. That was a huge mistake and they were lucky the crowd didn’t get angrier. But when it all comes down to it, we were all just so excited to see this legend of cinema in real life. He exceeded our expectations and came across extremely well.

The evening finished with Al performing a monologue from “The Iceman Cometh” which was pretty special. I actually got to watch Al Pacino perform live. That was a night I won’t ever forget and I will talk about for many years to come. So, I think to finish, I will quote one of my favourite movies, “Say goodnight to the bad guy”.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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