are Visitor No:
Playboy, December 1979
AL PACINO, THE PLAYBOY INTERVIEW
by Lawrence Grobel
A candidand very rareconversation with the enigmatic actor and superstar.
Al Pacino is pacing in his camper, parked on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village, the location for the days shooting of his latest and most controversial picture, Cruising. While waiting for director William Freidkin to set up the next shot, he tries to relax by reading aloud all the parts from Bertolt Brechts The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui to his hair stylist , secretary and make-up man. Down the street, behind a police barricade, he can hear faint shouts and the shrill whistles of the gay activists who have gathered to protest the making of this picture, which deals with homosexual murders.
There they go, Pacino says, interrupting his reading. Sounds like day crickets." The people in the camper smile, but no one is laughing, especially Pacino, who has found himself in the midst of a controversy he doesnt understand. All his life he has shied away from social movements, political issues, marches, protests. Then, last summer, he did Richard lll on Broadwaythe first Richard done on Broadway in 30 yearsand many of the critics attacked him so fiercely it seemed vindicative. No sooner did that play complete its run than Cruising began. And, once again, the press was provoked. For an actor who considers himself removed from such furor, and a man who has passionately avoided the press, the spotlight has suddenly been turned strongly his wayand this is the only major interview he has ever granted.
Alfredo James Pacino has traveled a great distance from the South Bronx of his childhood to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where he lives today. He was born April 25, 1940; his father left his mother when he was two, and he was raised by a protective mother and grandparents.
Nicknamed Sonny, his friends often called him The Actor, and though a prankster throughout his school years, , in junior high he was voted most likely to succeed, mainly in recognition of his acting abilities. But what he really wanted to be was a baseball player. When they started teaching Stanislavskys acting principles (the Method) at the High School of Performing Arts, which he attended, he thought nothing could be more boring. He made it only through his sophomore year before the money ran out and the pressure to get a job surpassed the need to continue his education.
The succession of jobs brought him in contact with all kinds of characters. He was a messenger, shoe salesman, supermarket checker, shoe shiner, furniture mover, office boy, fresh-fruit polisher, newsboy. But he also sensed that he could be more, so he auditioned for Lee Strasbergs Actors Studio, while a teenager. Rejected but undeterred, he enrolled in another actors studio, Herbert Berghof Studios, where he met the man who would become his mentor and closest friend, Charlie Laughton. Laughton not only taught actingand directed him in his first public play (William Saroyans Hello Out There) but also wrote poetry and introduced him to poets and writers. Pacino was accepted by the Strasberg studio four years later.
In the mid-sixties, he and a friend started writing comedy revues, which they performed in coffeehouses in Greenwich Village. He was also acting in plays in warehouses and basements. He appeared in numerous plays, including "Awake and Sing!" and "America, Hurrah". In 1966, he received his first recognition in an off-off-Broadway production of "Why Is A Crooked Letter". Two years later, he won an Obie for Best Actor in an off-Broadway production of The Indian Wants the Bronx. The following year, 1969, he was awarded his first Tonythe legitimate theaters Oscarfor his Broadway perfomance in Does A Tiger Wear a Necktie?
Like Marlon Brando after his major stage debut in A Streetcar Named Desire, Pacino was lured by Hollywood. He was offered about a dozen pictures before he and his then manager, Marty Bregman, decided to choose The Panic in Needle Park (though he did appear in a bit part in a Patty Duke movie called, Me, Natalie). Panic was a strange and disturbing film about a New York drug addict, and has only now picked up a cult following.
There was something, however, about Pacino that made another newcomer in Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola, choose him for a film he was about to do on the Mafia. Coppola had big ideas. He wanted not only this relatively unknown actor to play a major role in his film but also another actor not considered bankable at the time: Marlon Brando. The studio balked twice, but Coppola insisted. The result was The Godfather, a film that reversed the downward trend of Brandos career and that shot Al Pacino into the ranks of stardom.
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Pacino was insulted(he WAS onscreen longer than Brando, who wonand refusedthe Oscar that year) and boycotted the awards ceremony. For his third movie, Scarecrow, he chose a freewheeling rover on the road with an ex-con, played by Gene Hackman. An unsuccessful picture, it became Pacinos most upsetting experience with the movie industry.
Still, he responded with another recognized performance in Serpico, the New York cop who exposed the New York police force for taking bribes and almost lost his life for it. This time he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor. His third Oscar nomination came after his strongest performance to date, as Michael Corleone in Godfather ll. This was the movie that proved that Pacino was among the rare breed of actors who would leave their mark in American cinema history.
It was a controlled and troubling performance, which put him in the hospital for exhaustion halfway through the production. But when it was completed, he signed to do another controversial and memorable film, Dog Day Afternoon, in which he played a bisexual bank robber. For the fourth time, he was nominated for an Oscar.
Hollywood continued to recognize his enormous talent, but he was still an outsider. He refused to move to California, preferring to live in a small, unpretentious apartment in Manhattan; and he refused to consider himself solely a movie actor. Pacino feels his roots are in the theater, and he returns whenever the pressure of being a movie star become too great.
His next movie was Bobby Deerfield, the story of a superstar race-car driver going through and identity crisis. It was also the story of Pacino and his co-star, Marthe Keller, who became an item when they decided to extend their relationship offscreen as she moved in with him. But the film didnt work for Pacino or the public. He decided to return to Broadway to do Richard lll.
But before he did, he completed one more picture, And Justice for All, directed by Norman Jewison. Just released , it tells the story of an ethical lawyer fighting corruption in the judicial system. Once again, Pacino displays a wide range of acting ability that will almost certainly earn him his fifth Oscar nomination.
While his professional life has turned him into a superstar and a wealthy man(he received over $1,000,000 for " And Justice for All), his private life remains somewhat in turmoil. When he was still in his teens, he lived with a woman for a number of years. When the broke up, he lived for short periods with other women, until he met Jill Clayburgh. They lived together for five years. When that broke up (she married playwrite David Rabe), he had a relationship with Tuesday Weld, and then with Marthe Keller. That too, ended about a year and a half ago, and Pacino, who will soon turn 40, remains, like so many of the characters he plays, alone. But his attitude toward relationships and what he wants out of life is changing, as Lawrence Grobel (whose last Playboy Interview was with Godfather One, Marlon Brando) discovered. His report:
My first impression of Pacinos lifestyle brought to mind a line from Hamlet: I could be bound in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space. His three-room apartment consists of a small kitchen with worn appliances whose toilet is always running, and a living room that is furnished like a set for a way-off-off-Broadway production of some down-and-out city dweller. I know poor people who live in more luxury than this, I thought. Which made me instantly like this man, whose material needs are obviously slight. All around the living roo, were dog-eared paperback copies of Shakespeares plays and stacks of scripts, including one that Costa-Garvas had recently given him based on Andre Malrauxs Mans Fate.
For the next two weeks, I saw Pacino every evening and some afternoons, our talks often continuing into the early hours of the morning. For an hour or two, he would sit or lie on the couch, then jump up and go into the kitchen to light a cigarette from the stove, check the time, walk around a bit. One night I smelled something burning and we ran into the kitchen to see a potholder in flames on the stove. Pacino picked up the teakettle and calmly, as if such things happened all the time, put out the fire. On another night, I arrived to find him downstairs in the hall, picking up the pieces of a broken Perrier bottle that he had dropped on his way to the elevator. People wouldnt believe I do this, but I do, he said.
During our first few meetings, Pacino had trouble completing his thoughtshis mind jumped, his sentences dangled, he spoke in dashes and ellipses. But as we got to know each other, his sentences and thoughts became complete. He was fascinated with the actual process of being interviewed. Nobody ever asked me for opinions, he said.
We finished the interview on a Saturday and I was scheduled to fly back to L.A the next evening. Sunday morning, Pacino called, wanting to know when my plane was leaving. When I told him, he said, Well, that gives us enough time for one more talk. I put the batteries back into my tape recorders and grabbed a taxi to his place.
Finally, it was time to say good-bye. I had 40 hours of talk on tape and close to 2000 pages of transcription to reduce. I feel like I have played ball with you, Pacino said as I left. Like we know the same candy store or we remember that time when we opened a hydrant or something. It is a good feeling. I smiled and nodded. That was EXACTLY how I felt about him. And I think some of that good feeling comes through in the interview. Along with the doubts and hesitations, which he continued to express over the phone after I arrived in Los Angeles. He may never do another interview, but for this one, Al Pacino definitely was talking.
Pacino: Actually, Id rather you not put the tape on yetuntil I get a little bit warmed up here.
PB: Its best to just leave it on and forget about it.
Pacino: Whatever you say. Im not going to tell you how to do your job. This is so new to me.
PB: Do you feel like this is a coming out for you?
Pacino: Definitely. It is a huge thing, this interview. Theres a certain power in these interviews that I havent found in profilesa real power. Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, they can be taken seriously. I dont know that I can be yet, because I havent accomplished enough things in my life.
PB: After a lifetime of avoiding the press, what made you finally decide to talk?
Pacino: I sort of got tired of saying no, because it gets misread. The reason I havent before was that I just didnt think that I would be able to do it. But after a while, you just start to feel like, why not? So Ive been saying yes much more. Im tired of being too careful, too protective. Actually, look what yes has done to me. I said yes to Richard lll and to Cruising. No wonder I said no for so many years! (Laughs)
PB: Want to change your mind?
Pacino: No, let me try yesses for a while.
PB: Do you care how you come off in this?
Pacino: I want to be interesting in an interview just as much as I want to do well in a part.
PB: Good. First, though, were curious: Why do you have Candice Bergens name on your apartment door and another name on the directory downstairs?
Pacino: For the obvious reasonsto avoid being hassled. She used to live in this apartment, but it doesnt say Candice Bergen, it says C. Bergen. On the directory, I had Goldman for a while, but then a guy named Goldman came in and said, Stop using my name.
PB: We can appreciate your desire to keep a low profile. How many people in this building know you live here?
Pacino: Everybody in the building knows. They are very considerate.
PB: From the looks of things in this apartment, it doesnt appear that your star status has gone to your head.
Pacino: My lifestyle changes a lot. Ive been here five years, but its like Im passing through. On your way to Bombay, you stop here, stay over and then keep going. This is the kind of place I have. Its always been that way. I look around at places I think I should be living in, then I come back and move the couch or the piano and Im satisfied. This is a pretty nice place.
PB: OK. Lets start on your current film--- And Justice for All. How do you feel about it?
Pacino: I sense a certain kind of originality in the way it is done. I have never seen a film like this before.
PB: How do you see it?
Pacino: Its a simple picture, really. Its about ethics and people; about a guy who is trying to do his job and his relationship to the law. To say its about legal systems sounds boring, and thats not what it is. Its funny and poignant.
PB: Have you had any feedback from the legal community?
Pacino: Most of the lawyers Ive talked to are very pro the picture after having read the screenplay. One big lawyer said, Its just a farce. Others have really enjoyed it. I enjoyed doing it, it was another world to travel in for a while, the world of our courts.
PB: The build-up has it as a lawyers M*A*S*H.
Pacino: It didnt seem to be that farcical. It has certain exaggerations, but it gets real and yet not real. People who have had dealings with the law, been divorced, might have an interesting reaction to this.
PB: What made you decide to do this one?
Pacino: Norman (Jewison) came to me with it. I said, Norman, why dont I get some actors together and read it for you? Then I will see how I feel after I hear it. We read it aloud and after I finished, I said Id do it. I thought it had a nice structure to it. Its an unusual film because it is so verbal; you really have to pay attention to it.
PB: How was Jewison to work with?
Pacino: He was different from anybody I have worked with before. The thing I like most about Norman is you get a sense of his involvement, hes constantly with the movie. He broods about it. Even after its over, hes with the picture---he cares about it a great, great deal.
PB: Do you think the film can be seen as Serpico Takes on the Courts?
Pacino: Yeah, in a way. I saw a similarity to George C. Scott in The Hospital, which conveyed the feeling I had when I went into a hospital. The similarity to Serpico would be strongest. Although I find this character, Arthur Kirkland, to be less detached, more involved. I like him because of his involvement and his desire to be a part of the system. He liked his work. Only the system drives him nuts. Which creates an ethical question at the end: Is this right or not?
PB: The ending is pretty radicalyou sort of watch your characters law career go down the drain in a rather triumphant, perhaps self-indulgent way.
Pacino: Does the audience have a sense of that? I hope they do. That guy is giving it all up. You are seeing this guy struggle; it s the last time hes going to be up there. What hes trying to do is expose the system.
PB: How much research did you do for the part?
Pacino: I researched it a lot. I did a lot of work with lawyers before the filming began, so I felt kind of close to the courts. At one point recently, a friend said to me he was having trouble with a contract and I just instinctively said, Let me see that. You get the feeling that you are able to do these things. It is crazy. I literally took it from him and began to give him a legal opinion. Can you imagine that?
PB: Didnt you also do something like that when you played Serpico? Try to arrest a truck driver?
Pacino: Yeah, I tried to. It was a hot summer day and I was in the back of a cab. There was this truck farting all that stuff in my face. I yelled out, Why are you putting all that crap in the street? He said, Who are you? I yelled, I am a cop and you are under arrest, pull over! I pulled out my Serpico badge. It was a fantasy for a moment. I told him I would put him under citizens arrest, but then I realized what I was doing.
PB: Have you gotten carried away like that in any of your other pictures?
Pacino: Let me see. In The Panic in Needle Park, I was playing the part of someone dealing dope on a street cornerand there was a guy actually dealing heroin right there. I looked at him, he looked at me, and I got real confused.
PB: Panic was your first filmwere you very selective in choosing that?
Pacino: I turned down a lot of films before I made my first one. I knew that it was time for me to get into movies. I didnt know what it would be. When The Panic in Needle Park came along, Marty Bregman pushed and helped get it together. Without him, I dont know what I would have done. He is directly responsible for five movies. He was just a great influence on my career.
PB: How did Bregman become your manager?
Pacino: He saw me in an off-Broadway show and said that he was willing to back me with anything I wanted to do. I didnt quite know what he was talking about. Then he said that he would sponsor me. I still didnt know what he meant. As it turned out, he acted as a go-between for myself and the business. It was a very important relationship. He acted as an insulator. He got me work. Encouraged me to do The Godfather. Serpico was completely his idea. He got me to do Dog Day.
PB: Did you have a formal contract with him?
Pacino: Yes, I did. And it was expensive, but it was certainly worth it.
PB: Youre no longer with him?
Pacino: No. Our relationship changed several years ago, then it just finally dissipated. He became a producer. It wasnt the same anymore.
PB: Getting back to Panic, what did you think when you first saw yourself larger than life?
Pacino: I was drunk when I saw the first screening, but I was surprised at my bounciness, that I was all over the place. I did say, though, Thats a talented actor, be he needs work. Help. And he needs to work. And learn. But theres talent there. I dont like to go on about myself. I feel sometimes that its not ME who has something to offer, but hopefully, my talent.
PB: Well, unless your talent talks, youre going to have to go on about yourself.
Pacino: (Getting up) Mind if I stand and talk to you? Walk around a bit? I wonder if its a competition thing, an interview. Does it become a battle or a cat-and-mouse thing? But its probably impossilbe to strip my defenses. How could I do that with anybody?
PB: Are you feeling very defensive now?
Pacino: Im in a certain kind of condition now.
PB: Why dont we talk about it? It must have something to do with the fact that youve been filming Cruising in New York City and the set has been picketed and harassed. Gay activists have claimed the story is antihomosexual.
Pacino: I feel I dont know whats going on. I dont understand it. Its the first time in my life Ive ever been in this position.
PB: You play a cop who tracks down a killer of homosexuals, and some of the protests have been about the fact that the film shows scenes on the sadomasochistic fringes of gay life, rather than the mainstream of homosexual life.
Pacino: Thats the point! When I first read the script, I didnt even know those fringes existed. But its just a fragment of the gay community, the same way the Mafia is a fragment of Italian-American life.
PB: What does the film seem to you to be about?
Pacino: Its a film about ambivalence. I thought the script read partly like Pinter, partly like Hitchcock, a whodunit, and adventure story.
PB: Apparently, the gay community in New York sees it differently. Pamphlets were distributed calling the film a rip-off that uses gay male stereotypes as the backdrop for a story about a murderer of homosexuals.
Pacino: How can they say that without seeing the movie?
PB: But how do you react to the charges?
Pacino: Well, it makes me feel bad. Its actually hard for me to respond at all. When I read the screenplay, the thought of being antigay never even came to me. It never dawned on me that it would provoke those kinds of feelings. Im coming from a straight point of view, and maybe Im not sensitive enough in that area. But they ARE sensitive to the situation, and I cant argue with that. The only thing I can say is that it isnt a movie yet. It has not been put together as a movie.
PB: Do you think those protests will have an effect on the outcome of the film?
Pacino: If the gay community feels the film shows them in a bad light, then it is good they are protesting, because anything that raises consciousness in this area is all right. But I hope thats not the case. When I saw The Deer Hunter, my only reaction to some of the war scenes in Vietnam was: War is tough; I dont want to be there. I was taken by a general wave of feeling and swept up in the horror of war. But I wasnt thinking that the film was racist, as many accused it of being. If I had been preconditioned to think it was racist, I probably would have read that into too.
PB: Is Cruising you most controversial project?
Pacino: There is no second to it. I thought Dog Day was going to be, but nobody bothered us on the set. Nothing else even comes close.
PB: Dont you feel a responsibility for some of the issues the movie raises, since its an Al Pacino movie?
Pacino: Youre turning this into an Al Pacino movie? Al Pacino is an ACTOR in this movie. They way the press focuses attention on something like this is by throwing my name into it. Responsibilities are relative. My responsibility is to a character in a script, to a part Im playingnot to an issue Im unqualified to discuss.
PB: But arent we all ultimately responsible for what we do? Isnt what youre saying something of a cop-out?
Pacino: I dont think the film is antigay, but I can only repeatIm responsible for giving the best performance I can. I took this role because the character is fascinating, a man who is ambiguous both morally and sexually; hes both an observer and a provocateur. It gave me an opportunity to paint a character impressionisticallya character who is something of a blur. I also took the role because Billy Freidkin is one of the best directors working today. My communication with the public is as an actor. Although Id never want to do anything to harm the gay communityor the Italian-American community or the police community or ANY group I happen to represent onscreenI can only respond in my capacity as an actor.
PB: Since youre halfway through the filming, whats your sense of the movie so far?
Pacino: Theres a power to it, a certain theatricality, no doubt about that. I sensed it when I read it and I can feel it while were shooting it. I hope Billys energy comes off on the screen. Its extraordinary to be around him. Its like a temple hes creating, and it lifts you. Hes a lot like Coppola in that way.
PB: How is
Pacino: I remember that when I first met in a restaurant with Francis to discuss doing Godfather Two, I left absolutely filled with his inspiration; he just charged me with electricity. I wasnt going to do Godfather Two. Theres a funny story about how much they were going to pay me for Godfather Two, before Francis convinced me. Its about how I got that first big salary everybody talks about.
PB: How DID you get it?
Pacino: They wanted to give me a hundred grand on the second picture, and even I knew that was They said, How about a hundred and fifty? I said, Well, I dont think so. They said, How about if Puzo writes the screeplay? I said sure. Mario wrote a screenplay, I read it and it was OK, but it wasnt So I said no. They went up to two. I said no. Then they went up to two-fifty and three and three-fifty. Then they made a big jump and went to four-fifty. And I said no. Then they called me into the office in New York. There was a bottle of J&B on the table. We began drinking, talking, laughing, and the producer opened his drawer and he pulled out a tin box. I was sitting on the other side and he pushed it over in my direction. He said, What if I were to tell you that there was $1,000,000 in cash
there? I said, It doesnt mean anythingits an abstraction. It was the damnedest thing: I ended up kind of apologizing to the guy for not taking the million.
PB: He was obviously making you an offer as if you were really the Mafia character you played. What made you change your mind?
Pacino: Francis told me about the script. He was so wigged out by the prospect of doing it, he would inspire anybody. The hairs on my head stood up. You can feel that sometimes with a director. I usually say, if you feel that from a director, go with him.
PB: Lets finish the story. You didnt get $1,000,000 for it, you got $600,000 and ten percent of the picture; is that correct?
PB: You didnt go to 1,000,000 until Bobby Deerfield, right?
PB: And what did you get for the first Godfather?
the first one, I got $35,000. And about $15,000 I owed in legal fees.
PB: For what?
Pacino: I was involved in a movie called The Gang who Couldnt Shoot Straight at MGM. I cant talk too much about it, because I
dont know the details. My lawyer is taking care of it, but I was supposed to have said yes and signed for it, and then The Godfather
came along. Nobody wanted me for The Godfather; I guess they wanted to cast Jack Nicholson. My agents were telling me to stick
with The Gang who Couldnt Shoot Straight. I said, Well, I dont know, Francis keeps telling me not to go with another picture. It
was very nerve-racking. I remember saying to Francis, I don t want to be around where Im not wanted, so please, Francis, no more
auditions, no more screen tests, I can live without this picture. He said, No, you MUST play it.
PB: And then, after the picture was made, MGM got its lawyers after you?
Pacino: Naturally. After Godfather Two, the MGM people remembered their lawsuit against me and said I owed them a picture. It was a real crazy legal battle that was costing me hundreds of thousands of dollars. There were depositionsWhat color tie did he wear when he told you that? This craziness. Reams and reams of paper. I finally said, Theres something really wrong here, so I called the head of MGM and said, Whats going on? This is in the hands of lawyers now, theres no dialogue here, whats up? He and I talked face to face about the situation and we settled the whole thing. The situation was humanized. Sometimes youre fighting corporations and forget that people can talk to each other.
PB: How did you settle it?
Pacino: Amicably. If a project comes along, well work out something. Any project that I find encouraging that isnt attached to a studio, I can go to them, which I definitely would. Theres no more paying the lawyers. There s a time to get into them. You have to take an interest in what you do.
PB: Even when you dont understand what is going on?
Pacino: What happens is you get an inferiority complex, because you dont feel qualified to deal with those situations and you just sort of stand there and look around and nod your head. They say, Right? And you say, Yeah. And you dont even know what youre saying. You dont even listen. You pretend to listen. But youve got to learn whats going downits like the streets, in a sense.
PB: We imagine you didnt stay long with the agents who had told you to forget The Godfather.
Pacino: I changed agents. I did it on my own. There was a period where I didnt have an agent and I called William Morris. I said, Can I speak to the William Morris people? Im looking for an agent. She said, Oh? What s your name? I said, Al Pacino. She said, Are you SURE?
PB: Getting back to The Godfather, Coppola called you self-destructive after you first screen test. Why?
Pacino: Well, he was expecting me to do more in a scene. He took the dullest scene Michael had, the first wedding scene, which is an exposition scene, and I did it and he wanted me to do more. I dont know what he expected me to do. He tested people with the wrong scene. At first I thought he wanted me for Sonny. At the time, I didnt care if I got the part or not. The less you want things, the more they come to you. If its meant to be, it will be. Every time Ive stuffed or forced something, it hasnt been right.
PB: Yet you always knew youd get the part, didnt you?
Pacino: You just get a sense of things sometimes. You just know it. Its kind of simple to assess something if you allow it to happen. Its when the ego and greed get in the way that its harder to assess what the situation is. But if you step back and you take a look at it, you can sense whats going to happen. If I hadnt gotten the Godfather role, it would have surprised me, frankly.
PB: Did Coppola have you in mind before or after he had decided on Brando?
Pacino: He had Brando in his mind first, Im sure. We were together at a party and Francis said to me, Who do you think the Godfather should be? I said Brando. Francis is extraordinary in that way. He just feels you out. Hes a strange kind of man. Hes a voyeur that way. I never saw the likes of him. He can detach like nobody Ive ever seen. For a man that emotionally powerful to be able to detach the way he does like Michael Corleone. Thats why Francis understood that character.
PB: Did you have Francis in mind when you played Michael?
Pacino: Partly I did Francis, partly I modeled him from several people I know.
PB: What about any real Mob figures? Did you ever meet any of the Mafia?
Pacino: Yeah. Privately. Somebody gave me a reference.
PB: So you could observe them?
Pacino: Observe them, yes.
PB: And they let you?
PB: And what happened?
PB: Are they all still alive?
Pacino: I cant answer that.
PB: Is what we saw on the screen styled after what you observed?
Pacino: Ah, no. It wasnt.
PB: Where did you meet? At a restaurant?
Pacino: Ah in the sky. Space Station 22.
PB: Right. What were you trying to capture when you played Michael?
Pacino: In the first Godfather, the thing that I was after was to create some kind of enigma, and enigmatic-type person. So you felt that we were looking at that person and didnt quite know him. When you see Michael in some of those scenes looking wrapped up in a kind of trance, as if his mind were completlely filled with thoughts, thats what I was doing. I was actually listening to Stravinsky on the set, so Id have that look. I felt that that was the drama in the character, that that was the only thing that was going to make him dramatic. Otherwise, it could be dull. I never worked on a role quite like that. It was the most difficult part Ive ever played.
PB: There are numerous stories of actors perfoming with Brando for the first time. Whats your feeling about him?
Pacino: Theres no doubt every time I see Brando that Im looking at a great actor. Whether hes doing great acting or not, youre seeing somebody who is in the tradition of a great actor. What he does with it, thats something else, but hes got it all. The talent, the instrument is there, thats why he has endured. I remember when I first saw On the Waterfront. I had to see it again, right there. I couldnt move, I couldnt leave the theater. I had never seen the likes of it. I couldnt believe it.
PB: What was your first meeting like?
Pacino: Well, Diane Keaton was at that first meeting. We went in and sat at a table and everybody was pretending that he was just another actor, even though we were all nervous. But Diane was open enough to admit how she felt. She sat at the table and Brando said hello to me and to Diane. And Diane said, Yeah, right, sure, as if she couldnt believe it. She really did it. She said, I just cannot take that.
PB: And afterward?
Pacino: You cant imagine my feelings during the first rehearsal with Brando. It was Jimmy Caan and Bobby Duvall and me, all sitting around, and theres Brando going on about the Indians. Francis is saying to himself, This is the first rehearsal, whats going to happen tomorrow? We have two more weeks of this. And Duvall was making these faces. I had to leave and sit on the bed, because I was laughing and I didnt want to have Brando think we were laughing at him. Duvall finally said, Keep talking, Marlon, none of us want to work, just keep talking. With that, Marlon laughed. I will never forget Brando the first time I did a scene with Keaton. He came and stood right in front of the camera and watched. During the scene at the table, a leaf fell off the tree onto my shoulder. I took off the leaf
and tossed it and later Brando said, I like what you did with the leaf. Afterward, Diane and I just got drunk. But Brando was wonderful to me. He made me laugh, the things hed do. Id be playing a scene, and hed show up offcamera, straight-faced, with a silly fake bird in his pocket. His support was so powerful, it helped me a great deal. What can you say about someone that gracious? He made it so easy.
PB: People have said that artistically , you are Brandos godson.
Pacino: People have said that. I dont feel anywhere near that. Its meaningless, like saying I have green hair.
PB: Theres a rare quote attributed to you about the Godfather: They may have come to see Brando, but they left remembering me.
Did you say that?
Pacino: I never said that.
PB: Did you have a good time making the Godfather films?
except for Francis, I felt really unwanted on the set. And except for Al Ruddy, who was incredibly
helpful and good. And with Francis,
although I had personality differences with him, those were his performances, he made
them. And he knew it. Hed say, I created youyou re my Frankenstein
monster. Another time, he put me in elevator shoes and said, Whats wrong
with you? Youre walking like Donald Duck! I said, get those lifts out of
and I may move straighter.
PB: In fact, you did walk and move differently as Michael, didnt you?
Pacino: I had to move in a different way than Ive ever moved before. All HEAVY. Especially in Two.
PB: Do you have a favorite scene in either of the Godfather filmsa moment youre particularly proud of?
Pacino: I have one moment in Godfather Two nobody sees it. Michael and his sad brother Fredo are in Cuba, seeing the Superman show
in the night club, and Fredo tells Michael, Johnny always used to take me here. And you see in that moment that Michael realizes his
brother betrayed him. That s my favorite moment, but its subtle. After the scene, I was taken to the hospital, the next day.
PB: From exhaustion?
We were shooting in the Dominican Republic and I was being treated like a prince or
Eight bodyguards and all, which was unnecessary. It was very disconcerting. I got physically ill. I was just overworking in that part.
PB: How would you rate that part against the others youve played?
Pacino: Of all the parts, Im most satisfied with Godfather Two. It was the most important.
PB: Is there a Godfather lll in the future?
Pacino: There was a scene, which was only half shot, where Michaels son comes back to visit him. The kid talks about how he wanted to join the family business. And I tell him that he should give it more time. But they didnt shoot it all, which I found hard to believe.
PB: Why didnt they shoot it?
Pacino: We lost the light. Maybe if we hadnt, wed be hearing about Godfather lll.
PB: Perhaps its a good thing, because you followed that with another remarkable performance in Dog Day Afternoon.
Pacino: You know I almost never got to do that film?
Pacino: I quit once. Dustin Hoffman was going to do it. I was the original one, and then Dustin, and then it went back to me.
PB: Why did you quit it?
Pacino: I had just done Godfather Two and I was tired of films. I just didnt want to make a movie. I found it a hassle. I had done years of stage and I thought I was one of those actors who couldnt adjust to film, because it was too laborious. I guess I was just too tough on myself. I was working in a medium I didnt know and I felt unsure.
PB: Why did you decide to do it?
Pacino: Because Frank Pierson wrote a terrific screenplay. And I had strong feelings for that kind of character. See, therere three reasons I take a screenplay: The director, text and character. If I relate greatly to the director, the text is pretty good and I think I can do something with the character, I might take it. Or, if I can relate greatly to the character and the text and director are OK, Ill take it, too. As long as theres one really strong positive in it. Thats how I pick things now. Before, all three had to be great.
PB: Is that how you felt about the script, the character and director, Sidney Lumet, of Dog Day Afternoon?
Pacino: Yeah. Pierson had structured it quite beautifully, he really made it sing, it was alive. And Sidney Lumet is a genius in staging; he never tells you a word; just by the way he has you move, the scene comes alive. He pointed me in a direction and said, Go here and go there. Its extraordinary.
PB: Theres a truly memorable scene in that film where you come out of the bank screaming, Attica! Attica! Was that an important scene to you?
Pacino: Yeah, I sensed that kind of rush. Lumet helped me with that. He said, Its HIS day in the sun, with all those people out there. Charging at windmills, somebody once said to me. But theres another moment that, I think, made it the kind of film that got received univerally.
PB: What moment?
Pacino: When the delivery boy delivers the pizza and then turns around to the crowd and says, in effect, Im a star! It hit right where were atthe kind of energy wrapped up in the media and with imagery and fantasy and film. We dont know enough about the media yet, we dont know its effect on us. Its new. Its got to do something to us.
PB: Did you sense that Dog Day was an explosive kind of picture?
Pacino: Yes. My friend Charlie Laughton saw the film and said to me, Al, do you know what it is like? It is like pulling a pin out of a hand grenade and waiting for it to explode. I remember Lumet saying to me at one point, It is out of my hands. It has got its own life.
PB: Have you felt that with any other picture?
Pacino: With Serpico. It had that kind of pace.
PB: What drew you to that picture?
Pacino: I read the treatment and thought, another cop picture. Then Waldo Salt came over with a screenplay that I could relate to and I was there. Then I met Frank Serpico. The moment I shook his hand and looked into his eyes, I understood what that movie could be. I thought there was something there that I could play.
PB: Did you prepare for the part by hanging out with him?
Pacino: Yes. I went out with the cops one night, did about five minutes of that and said, I cant do this stuff. So I would just sort of hang around Frank, long enough to sort of feel him. One time we were out at my rented beach house in Montauk. We were sitting there looking at the water. And I thought, well I might as well be like everybody and ask a silly question, which was, Why Frank? Why did you do it? He said, Well, Al, I dont know. I guess I have to say it would be because if I didnt, who would I be when I listened to a piece of music? I mean, what a way of putting it! Thats the kind of guy he was. I enjoyed being with him. There was mischief in his eyes.
PB: Frank Serpico is living by himself on a farm in Holland. Is the piece we saw together on one of the TV news-magazine shows the same man you knew?
That was what was so shocking. He looked as if he didnt belong there. Not natural.
PB: He seemed to possess a certain resigned wisdom.
Pacino: Yes. Resigned wisdomhe would laugh at that. He is a funny kind of guy. He was a loner. A man of intelligence. Hell be back
on the police force.
PB: Pauline Kael, in her review of Serpico, wrote that as you grew your beard, she couldnt distinguish you from Dustin Hoffman.
Pacino: Is that after she had the shot glasses removed from her throat?
PB: Is that really insulting to you?
Pacino: Why did you ask me that question?
PB: To piss you off. (Laughter).
Pacino: Really. Im too good, right. Im really too nice.
PB: Well find out.
Pacino: We got time. If somebody says something like that, I cant retort to it. It has to do with what was going through her head at the
time. It seems beside the point.
PB: Kael wrote, Pacinos poker face and offhand fast throwaways keep the character remote.
Pacino: Are you kidding me or what? Why was she pissed at me, I wonder? Sometimes the things that piss people off Well, I piss
myself off, too sometimes. When Ive seen myself onscreen from time to time, Ive said, Who does he think he is, smirking like that?
Or, Why doesnt he take a bath? But that film seemed pretty good to me.
PB: What other films seem pretty good to you?
Pacino: Bang the Drum Slowly is my all-time favorite film. I saw that three or four times. Id like to go see it again. The baseball motif, the quality of the relationship between Moriarity and De Niro, is beautiful. Maybe I relate to it because I wanted to be a baseball player. For some reason, people dont talk about that movie.
PB: You and De Niro are friends, arent you?
Pacino: Yeah, I know Bobby pretty well. Hes a friend. He and I have gone through similar things. There was a period in my life when it was very important that I get together with somebody I could identify with.
PB: Those must have been strange conversations, since neither of you is very talkative. How did you communicate at first?
Pacino: Sign language.
PB: Thats probably what the press would have to do to interview him.
Pacino: Hes always very quiet, its an inherent thing. Hes really honest about that. I think that the press respects that. They dont push him. He does talk with me, though.
PB: Do you see any similarities between you and De Niro professionally?
Pacino: I can only judge by what I see on film. I dont see similarities between me and Bobby. The same thing with Dustin; I dont see it, although I think hes great.
PB: What other films besides Bang the Drum Slowly do you like?
Pacino: I liked Viva Zapata. I liked Gielgud in The Charge of the Light Brigade. I like the Loves of Isadora with Vanessa
Redgrave; shes a great actress. I loved Nick Nolte in North Dallas Forty. I like going to see Olivier. And Walter Matthau, I go see all
his movies. When first saw 8 ½, I liked it a lot. I loved La Strada. I wasnt crazy about Amacord. I dont like the Bond films.
PB: What about Star Wars?
Pacino: Didnt see it.
PB: Close Encounters of the Third Kind?
Pacino: Yeah, I saw that one.
PB: Any reactions? If a spaceship landed in front of you (laughter), would you go up in it?
Pacino: Yeah, but not with Richard Dreyfuss. (Laughs).
PB: How did you feel when you saw Saturday Night Fever and spotted the poster of yourselfin your Serpico beardon the wall of John Travoltas room?
Pacino: I ducked. I was watching the screen and I muttered, Thats not Al Pacino, thats Serpico. Sometimes I talk aloud in a movie theater. Like in The Good-Bye Girl, with Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, one of the characters says to the other, Nobody knew Al Pacino before The Godfather, and I yelled up at the screen, Youre full of shit, Marsha. You were in a one-act play with me before The Godfather!
PB: That was during a regular screening at a movie theater?
Sometimes Ill do that.
PB: Did people turn and stare at you?
Pacino: No, I think Dreyfuss looked down at me from the screen and said, Shush, Al. (Laughs).
PB: What other movies have you liked lately?
Pacino: I liked Norma Rae. A Little Romance. I like this new girl, Laura Antonelli, in Till Marriage Do Us Part. Shes a find, a
PB: What actress do you most admire?
Pacino: Julie Chrisite is just about my favorite actress in the world. I love her. Shes the most poetic of all the actresses.
PB: What about the so-called bankable actresses, such as Streisand, Fonda, Dunaway? Would you like to act with any of them?
Pacino: Theyre all exciting actresses, but the fact is, I dont know them very well. And you dont get to know anybody in a movie until
after its over. You work less together in a film than you do onstage. Onstage, you re out there together, but in a film, they shoot her,
they shoot me. Unless the project is originated together or you have rehearsal time to develop something. Like, Diane Keaton was talking
to me about doing a movie. Well get together with it, read it a few times and try to develop seomthing. I know Diane from working with
her before; were friends. I think we could maybe do a comedy together. You know, the reason she works with Woody is that
familiarity; it takes the edge off.
PB: How do you think youd go over in a comedy?
Pacino: You didnt know this, but thats what I did before 1968. I wrote comedy. I directed and acted in revues that I wrote in
coffeehouses and like that. I pretty much spent my time doing comedy. But theres a strange thing going on that bothers me. I dont
understand it. Theyre doing surveys, they actually do this at universities, and they ask people what they want to see. They dont want to
see me in comedies, they want to see me in certain serious roles. So thats whats going to come my way. There are studio heads who
say, No, no, no you dont want to put him in this, put him in that. It goes back to the old days, when you had your studio saying, We
have to put him only in romantic parts. So where is the opportunity? Maybe Im being stubborn, but I refuse to look at myself that way,
that Im a commodity. This is such a commercial medium, and I understand and appreciate that. You cant ignore the amount of money
youre given for this thing and say youre going to do some kind of art film. But its disturbing to me when I hear theyre taking polls and
want me only in serious stuff. Its strange, since I have not done a comedy yet.
PB: There are comedic moments in And Justice for All.
Pacino: But it isnt the kind of comedy that I want to do. I really want to do the all out Buster Keaton-type comedy. Slapstick. Thats
what I did, thats what I wrote: We were clowns. I used to think of myself as a comedian, believe it or not. Ive always admired
comedians. Their minds, the way in which they se the world is so striking, the way they juxtapose things, the way they can see humor in
people. Theres a liberation in that.
PB: Do you like Mel Brooks and Woody Allen?
Pacino: Mel Brooks will have these flashes in his films; you laugh for hours afterward. I wonder how he is, what hes like. The same
with Woody; I go to see all of his films. Dick Van Dyke is also one of my favorites.
PB: Who do you think is the best actor in America?
Pacino: Among the post-Brando actorsI call it post-Brando, it was about ten years after Brando that a lot of actors .There are so
many fine actors .I dont know. George C Scott.
PB: Do you remember that scene of Scotts at the end of The Hustler, when Paul Newman is walking out of the pool hall and Scott is
sitting there and suddenly screams
Pacino: (As Scott) YOU OWE ME MONEY!! Very strong movie.
PB: What other actors have you admired?
Pacino: Gary Cooper was kind of a phenomenonhis ability to take some thing and elevate it, give it such dignity. One of the great
presences. Charles Laughton was my favorite. Jack Nicholson has that kind of persona; hes also a fine actor. Mitchums great. Lee
Marvin, too. These guys are terrific actors.
PB: What about some of the younger actors. Such as John Travolta or Richard Gere?
Pacino: Travoltas a very talented young actor. I never saw Geres acting. Oh, I saw him in Days of Heaven.
PB: Some critics say hes a young Al Pacino.
Al Pacino, huh? (Laughter) You said that, not me. Talk like that, youre never going
to get me to bed. (More laughter).
PB: Oh, yeah, thats what your character says to the girl in And Justice for All. Have you ever compared yourself to anyone? To a
Nicholson, De Niro, Brando? In the privacy of your room, do you look into the mirror and think
Pacino: When I look in the mirror, I think of Gary Cooper. Naturally. (Laughs) No, I dont think I ever did.
PB: You and Nicholson were involved in a Best Actor race for the Oscar that many people felt was extremely closeyour performance
in Dog Day Afternoon and his in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Did you think youd get it?
Pacino: No, I never thought Id get it.
PB: You thought Nicholson would?
PB: Do you feel he deserved it?
Pacino: Yeah, I did. Hed been out there a while, hes made a lot of different films, hes been great.
PB: Would you have turned the role down?
Pacino: Yes, I would have turned that down.
PB: Because of Dog Day?
Pacino: No, because I thought Cuckoos Nest was a kind of a trap. Its one of those built parts; I dont think it has much depth.
Commercially, it s very good, but as far as being a really terrific role, I dont think it is.
PB: You still dont?
Pacino: Yeah. I just dont see much depth in that role.
PB: But you said that you thought Nicholson deserved the Oscar for it.
Pacino: Who said that?
PB: You did.
Pacino: When did I say that?
PB: A little while ago.
Pacino: Ill bet you $5,000 I didnt say it.
PB: Five thousand dollars? You SAID it. Would you really bet?
Pacino: Id bet ya $5,000. Yeah
PB: You would?
PB: OK. After you read this, you can send the check care of Playboy. So, if you didnt think he did, do you think you did?
Pacino: (Smiling) You really want to corner me, dont you?
PB: Youve been sitting on it too long. Its got to come out.
Pacino: Youre asking, Do I think I deserved the Academy Award for Dog Day Afternoon? Not any less than he did. For that.
PB: Do you think you deserved it more than he did
Pacino: What do you think? WHAT DO YOU THINK?
PB: Now were cooking. Did you think Cuckoos Nest deserved to win for Best Picture?
Pacino: Did it win?
Pacino: It won? Well, I didnt think so. If you asked me, Did I like Cuckoos Nest? I have to tell you I didnt. Did you?
Pacino: Finally, we disagree on something. Finally.
PB: What the hell.
Pacino: Get out of my house, then. (Laughs).
PB: What about the year before, when you and De Niro were up for Godfather Two? He got it for
Pacino: Yeah, for supporting.
PB: And you were up for Best Actor. Do you remember who won?
Pacino: Art Carney.
PB: Well, you understand that. Cant you?
Pacino: You really are a wise-ass, you know. You can understand that. Talk about putting words in my mouth.
PB: You really felt you deserved it for Godfather Two?
Pacino: I think youve got to really get your act together about deserving Oscars. You really are off there.
PB: Its not the fact that you didnt get it, you mean, its the fact that someone else did that could disturb you?
Pacino: Whoever gets it deserves it. Deserves it for what? If you had to get down to the nitty-gritty and say, If these actors were
doctors and I have to have open-heart surgery, which one would I choose?then were talking.
PB: But you do care about these things?
Pacino: Let me say, honestly, I dont care. I do not give a shit. Honestly.
PB: But you did get excited about the Nicholson thing. Enough to forget what you said, anyway. So you care a little bit.
Pacino: Ah ho. Youre starting to get to me now. If I dont give a shit whether I win or not, what difference does it make?
PB: None at all.
Pacino: What I mean, basically, is if I won the award, thats terrific. I ve won awards. And they didnt make me feel bad winning them,
Ill tell you that. They made me feel pretty good. But it also did not make me feel bad NOT winning the Academy Award. I will honestly
say I felt the same. I didnt feel as though I was cheated or that I deserved something and didnt get it. Thats honest. Thats true.
Now, if you ask me whether Jack Nicholson deserved it or notif he got it, he deserved it. Fuck em.
PB: Well, youve been nominated four times and you most probably will be again for And Justice for All. Would you do anything to
subtly campaign for it as some actors do?
Pacino: I wouldnt personally, but I can understand somebody campaigning for that. There are certain manipulations that go on, certain
favoritisms, partialities. I dont know where, specifically, but I can sense them. Ive experienced having lost four years in a row. Its
strange. You feel good being nominated, then you get turned into some kind of loser when you dont win it. Youve been feeling terrific
and suddenly youve got all these people consoling you. Real strange.
PB: Have you ever gone to the Academy ceremonies?
Pacino: I was at the Oscars once, for Serpico. That was the second time I was nominated. I was sitting in the third or fourth row with
Diane Keaton. Jeff Bridges was there with his girl. No one expected me to come. I was a little high. Somebody had done something to
my hair, blew it or something, and I looked like I had a birds nest on my head, a real mess. I sat there and tried to look indifferent
because I was so nervous. Any time Im nervous, I try to put on an indifferent or a cold look. At one point, I turned to Jeff Bridges and
said, Hey, looks like there wont be time to get to the Best Actor awards. He gave me a stange look. He said, Oh, really? I said, Its
over, the hour is up. He said, Its three hours long. I thought it was an hour TV show, can you imagine that? And I had to peebad.
So I popped a valium. Actually, I was eating valium like they were candy. Chewed on them. Finally came the Best Actor. Can you
imagine the shape I was in? I couldnt have made it to the stage. I was praying, Please dont let it be me. Please. And I hear Jack
Lemmon. I was just so happy I didnt have to get up, because I never would have made it.
PB: Before Serpico, you were up for Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather. Do you feel you were in the wrong category?
Pacino: Oh, sure. Definitely. That was outrageous. Its things like that that get you a little sour. I decided to pass the ceremonies by.
There were certain people around me who wanted to write a letter, who wanted to announce that I would not accept the nomination. I
would always say, Let it go. Let it go. Dont make waves. But then, even though I didnt go, I watched it on TV. I felt bad. I didnt
care for that kind of contradiction.
PB: In the future, will you attend?
Pacino: I feel a little bit guilty if I dont go. Its more than likely that I would attend. A couple of awards Ive won, I was to caught up at
that time and had gone through too many strange periods to understand what they were about. To be able to finally understand what
appreciation is, enjoying the moment Take it for what it is.
PB: Do you think you might ever turn down an award, as Brando and Scott have?
Pacino: I cant forsee that. At one time, I didnt see myself having an interview with Playboy, so anytings possible.
PB: Weve been talking mostly about your film career, but the fact is, you ve put a lot more of your time into the theater. Do you
consider yourself more deeply involved with the stage?
Pacino: Yes, I would say I am more concerned with the plays Im going to do than the movies. Im more comfortable in a play. In film,
theres always a certain sense of control, of holding back. The stage is different ; theres more to act. There are more demands put on
you, more experiences to go through. It is a different craft when it is on stage. The play is the source, it is orchestrated with words. In a
movie, you are not dealing with as much as that. There are machines and wires. When youre acting for a camera, it keeps taking and
never giving back. When you perform with a live audience, the audience comes back to you, so that you and the audience are giving to
each other, in a sense. Its an extraordinary thing. Its wild turf up there. The time I was doing Pavlo Hummel in Boston, I made
connection with a pair of eyes in the audience and I thought, This is incredible, these eyes are penetrating me. I went through the whole
performance just relating to those eyes, giving the whole thing to those eyes. I couldnt wait at curtain to see who it was. When curtain
call finally came, I looked in the direction of those eyes and it was a seeing eye dog. (Laughs) Belonged to a blind girl. I couldnt get over
itthe compassion and intensity and the understanding in those eyes and it was a dog. What a profession!
PB: Is there ever a time when a play is like a film?
Pacino: You know whats close to a film? When youre doing a play and the critics come. One wishes that they would come when you
do not know it, then they would be able to see a process. When I know somebody is in the audience, I want to say, see how wonderful I
am, look how terrific Im doing here. And everything goes right out the window. I blow it. It takes away from a certain spontaneity.
PB: You tried to prevent that from happening when you refused to have an opening night for your Richard lll on Broadway earlier this
year. But it didnt seem to work, you got clobbered pretty badly by some of the press.
Pacino: I knew that we were going to get hit. It was unavoidable. You figure, well, if you spread it out, it would be easier. All it wound
up being was instead of one opening night, four. I thought, well, gee, this isnt working right, you know?
PB: How did you know you were going to get hit?
Pacino: The Richard I did was different, it was a departure. We did it in 1973 at the Loeb Theater in Boston, but it wasnt very good.
So we moved it to a Church and the thing took off. Something happened. Three hundred people would come. I came out of the pulpit
and put my head out and talked through a microphone. The concept had continuity and consistency. The Times came and Time
Magazine and the reviews were encouraging. So I thought of doing it again. But when we took it out of the Church and put it in the
theater, things changed. Before, it had a concept; now it didnt.
PB: Have you seen Oliviers film of Richard lll?
Pacino: I never saw anyone do it and I didnt want to see anyone do it. Although I would imagine seeing him would naturally widen my
understanding of it.
PB: There arent many stars of your caliber willing to take the risk of doing Shakespeare on Broadway. Why did you do it?
Pacino: To stop smoking, for what other reason? You cant smoke when you do Richard lll Are there reasons for peoples doing
things? What is a risk? Its a risk NOT to take risks. Otherwise, you can go stale, repeat yourself. I dont feel like a person who takes
risks. Yer theres something within me that must provoke controversy, because I find it wherever I go.
PB: What did you think of Richard Dreyfuss comic interpretation of Richard lll in The Goodbye Girl?
Pacino: (Sardonic smile).
PB: Richard Eder, in The New York Times, wrote, The stage bristles with cross purposes, crossed purposes, dim purposes and Mr.
Pacino: Yeah, I imagine it mush have been true, what he said. Its what it was. It had flaws. It wasnt great, but it wasnt bad, either.
There was something going on and the people were coming. The main thing was that people felt the connection with Shakespeare. Ive
always felt somewhere within me some connection to the Elizabethan temperment. It excites me, serves me.
PB: But do poor reviews also discourage you from doing it again?
Pacino: You know, there WERE some good notices. But theres too much going on to really dwell on that. Kitty Winn once told her
grandmother how affected she was by the criticism of The Panic in Needle Park. Her grandmother said, Well, thats awful, you
should quite. Of course, she didnt, but thats your alternative. Or you can lament about it. The thing is in doing it, thats what its
about. Not in the results of it. The one I love is what Wallenda said, you know, the(trapeze artists) Flying Wallendas? The accident they
had? He was up there and they said, How can you go up again after that tragedy? And he said, Lifes on the wire, the rest is just
waiting. Thats where life is for me. Thats where it happens. And it does. In a lot of ways, the controversy over Richard has only
made me feel like I want to do it again. It has encouraged me. I don t mean that as a backlash. The critics certainly werent encouraging.
I guess one of the great pleasures in my life was just going through this Richard lll sequence. It opened the door again to say, well Im
doing things. I survived this, you know, having worn through it, having watched and learned. Im glad I did it. It was very valuable to
PB: Would you be more specific about what you learned from the Richard experience?
Pacino: Something challengingwhere you get hit hard, when its not smoothoften illuminates what other people think and alters your
own perspective. And that kind of metamorphosis is a positive, cathartic experience. After 70 performances of Richard, something
started to happen. A scene that I thought I would never get or understand. I began to understand. I knew that there was a lot I had to
learn. Thats why I cant wait to get back on the stage. See, repetition is a big thing with me. Thats technique, repeating. Someone once
said, Repetition keeps me green. I like that saying. Also, doing a play like Richard lll is being involved with worlds, with where were
from. Four hundred years ago, people were saying and going through those exact same things. You feel that connection, you get that
sense of universality, of being a part of things.
PB: As an actor, though, can you really make those connections? Or do you feel like an outsider, an interpreter?
Pacino: Actors are always outsiders. Its necessary to be able to interpretand that gets distorted when you become famous. Our roots
are always outsidewere wayward vagabonds, minstrels, outcasts. And that may explain why so many of us want to be accepted in the
mainstream of life. And when we areheres the contradictionwe sometimes lose our outsiders edge.
PB: One would think that youd be more hardened to criticism than sensitive to it after spending all your life in the theater.
Pacino: It used to worry me what people said about me. Im learning not to worry as much. Sometimes you feel critics are wrong all the
time, but I don t take objection to it, because thats the way it goes. They can be wrong, they can be right. They can be cruel, they can
be kind. For instance, Walter Kerr, who is now the top reviewer for The New York Times. I dislike what he believes. There is no
doubt about his knowledge, but he hurt me. Two things he said hurt me. It was the only time in my career that I felt that I would
confront him on a couple of things he said.
PB: What were they?
Pacino: What he said about Pavlo Hummel. There was something in what he said that profoundly scared me. He said that a character
like that was unimportant as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
PB: What was Kerrs criticism of Richard?
Pacino: He said I didnt belong in Shakespeare. But Shakespeare is one of the reasons Ive stayed an actor. Sometimes I spend full days
doing Shakespeare by myself, just for the joy of reading it, saying those words .I do Shakespeare when I am feeling a certain way.
Sometimes I will sit here for a day and a night acting out parts. I can go for ten hours straight. Maybe it goes back to the way I worked
things out in my subconscious when I was very small, when I went home and acted all the parts in the movies Id seen. People are
always asking me to do Shakespeareat home, at colleges, on film locations, in restaurants. Its like playing a piece of music, getting all
the notes. Its great therapy.
PB: Is that what acting is for you?
Pacino: More than that; I have a need to do it. My favorite line in Richard lll is, Nay, for a need. FOR THE NEED! The need is
everything. That is what it is about. Appetite and need. (Here, Pacino takes a cookie from a bag in the floor and dips it into his Perrier
PB: Do you know what you just did?
Pacino: (Looks down, laughs) Now Im dipping my cookies in water. Next thing you know, Ill be sitting on the window sill.
PB: Theres a box of cookies on top of your refrigerator, the majority of which are half eaten. Is it that you dont expect many visitors or
you don t care if you offer them half-eaten cookies?
Pacino: Half a cookie? I have to see that to believe it.
PB: You mean you dont know you do that? (Pacino gets up, goes into the kitchen, discovers the box of half-eaten cookies.)
PB: OK, tough question: Whats your favorite cookie?
Pacino: My favorite cookie? Lavagetto. Cookie Lavagetto played third base for Brooklyn in 1910. I once knew a bartender I used to call
Cookie. Hey, Cookie, let me have a couple of beers.
PB: What is your favorite food?
Pacino: Now youre sounding like Barbara Walters. Spaghetti and meatballs. There is no second to that.
PB: Not even the head of lettuce and celery sticks youve been eating for dinner as weve been talking?
Pacino: (Laughs) Im usually stuffing things down my mouth. I can get something in the kitchen and on the way to the living room its
gone. (Takes a box of blueberries from the refrigerator.) Now Im going to start eating blueberries.
PB: As you
do, lets talk about your childhood.
Pacino: I come from the South Bronxa true descendant of the melting pot. I grew up in a really mixed neighborhood; it was a very
integrated life. There were certain tensions that usually had to do with ones income situation. Being an only child, I had difficulty with
competition. I wasn t allowed out until I went to school at about six; thats when I started to integrate with other kids. I was very shy. It
wasnt very pleasant going to school at that age and having the feeling that you might get beat up any day. I think a lot of kids suffer
from that kind of tension. I didnt know how to protect myself very well, because I never learned it. I learned to wrestle, I learned
defensive fighting at a young age, because when someone hit me, I would throw up and fall down. Once, I was doing a tightrope walk on
a very thin rail up about five feet. I slipped and fell and the rail hit me right in the crotch. My friends laughed. I got up, walked about 20
feet, feel down. Got up and walked 30 feet and fell. Then I crawled up against the building and some of the big guys came and carried
me to my aunt s house. My mother and grandmother came over and there were these three ladies looking at my private parts. I was
lying prostrate on my back and they were all looking and playing with me! I must have been nine. Then one time I was playing guns in
the lots and there was this barbed-wire fence. I caught my lip on the barbed wire. My friend was shooting, Gotcha. Gotcha, youre not
falling, I gotcha. I was screaming and he said, Yeah, but you re dead! Youre dead! This guy finally runs up and tells my mother that
I m hanging from my lip. She fainted dead away.
PB: You were raised by your grandparents and your mother because you were still a baby. Was it tough?
Pacino: My mother kept a curfew when I had to be upstairs. I needed that, it gave me a sense of right and wrong, a sense of security.
She used to take me to the movies at a very young age; thats how I started acting. My grandfather raised me. He never raised a hand to
me. He didnt talk much. He wasnt demonstrative. He didnt display his feelings much in terms of affection. But he was there. I found
myself touching him a lot. It was just great to kiss him sometimes. I guess he knew I was an actor, because I used to love to hear him tell
me stories about what it was like in New York in East Harlem in the early 1900s. I would bring him out more than anybody else did. I
dont think anybody else was interestd. He would just string these yarns for hours on the roof. I would spend nights up there, him talking
to me. Its almost like a grandfather and grandson on a fishing boat, but we were in the South Bronx, up on a roof.
PB: What were his stories about?
Pacino: His immigration here, how his mother came first, what it was like. His mother died when he was four. He quit school and went
to work at nine on a coal truck. Every time hed come home from work, Id be playing in the lot and Id wait for him to come by. I
would ask him for a nickel. He would always kvetch about it, but hed bend down deep, way down, like he was going into his shoe.
And he would come up with his nickel. How DID he finger the nickel?
PB: Would you say he provided a role model for you?
Pacino: I imagine he did, yes. My grandfather was a provider. Work, any kind of work, was the joy of his life. So I grew up having a
certain relationship to work. It was something that I always wanted.
PB: In And Justice for All theres a touching scene in which you visit your grandfather, played by Lee Strasberg, and you say to
him, You cared for me, you loved me, but your son was a shit. Is that getting pretty close to your background.
Pacino: That was the screenplay. No, I didnt have those feelings when I played the character. There are people whose sense of reality is
very strong, who have a sense of honesty. Lee Strasberg is like that, my grandfather was like that. These are the kinds of men Ive had
close relationships with.
PB: What about that line, though? Was your father, in real life, a shit?
Pacino: No, no. My relationship with my father wasnt a close one, but he saw me throughout my life. He would come and see me and
visit. When I was younger, I stayed with him for a while. Sometimes four or five years would go by before I saw him, but he always
tried to communicate with me. (Puts hand into empty box.) I think I ate the whole box of blueberries.
PB: What was school like for you? Werent you once put in an emotionally disturbed class?
Pacino: I was, for a couple of days.
PB: What for?
Pacino: Pranks. I carried on a lot. I was in a library class, sitting in the back, pushing all the books until the book end would fall and
make a noise. I did it once too often and they threw me out. They put me in what they called the ungraded class, but I wasnt there long.
PB: What did you imagine youd grown up to be?
Pacino: I wanted to be a baseball player, naturally, but I wasnt good enough. I didnt know what I was going to do with my life. I just
had a kind of energy, I was a fairly happy kid, although I had problems in school. In the eighth grade, the drama teacher wrote my
mother a letter saying she should encourage me. I used to recite The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. And I would read the Bible in the
auditorium. That was the first time I heard of Marlon Brando. I was in a play and they said, Hey, Marlon Brandothis guy acts like
Marlon Brando. Isnt that weird? I was about 12. I guess it was because I was supposed to get sick onstage and I really did get sick
every time we did this play. Actually, the person I related to was James Dean. I grew up with the Dean thing. Rebel Without a Cause
had a very powerful effect on me.
PB: What encouraged you to attend the High School of Performing Arts?
Pacino: I went to Performing Arts because that was the only school that would accept me. My scholastic level was not very high.
PB: But you also acted.
Pacino: I was
never very happy with performing; it didnt turn me on much. If I made a catch at
third base, Id
do a double somersault and sprawl out on the ground. I was actingoveracting. Instead of O.D.ing, I O.A.d. They taught Stanislavsky
at Performing Arts. That whole thing about the Method and serious acting, having to feel it, I thought it was crazy. What was going on?
Where was the fun? So I was kind of bored with it. Once, I was in class and had to act out what it was like when I was in my room
alone. Since I never had a room to myself, I had to make it up.
PB: How many slept in your room?
Pacino: At one point, there were nine of us living in three rooms. I lived with aunts and uncles and their children. It was back and forth,
it changed. There was some tendency for people to get volatile in those situations. Once, after Id improvised something at school, this
drama teacher, who was into Stanislavsky, told me, You have the fire of the great Sicilian actors! She called my mother, who said that
acting was for rich people, that I should get a job. Well, I left high school after two years to support myself, but I remembered how
natural the teacher said I acted. And I went around all the time trying to be natural. I didnt know the difference between being natural
and being real. What do I know from Stanislavsky? Hes Russian, Im from the Bronx.
PB: As a kid, what did you learn about sex? We havent brought up that up yet.
Pacino: (Laughs) I was wondering when youd turn that corner. I love work because it keeps sex in perspective. Otherwise, it can
become a preoccupation.
PB: You mean thats why you work so much?
PB: So you can afford it?
Pacino: So I can afford it. (Groans) You said that.
PB: Do you remember your first sexual experience?
Pacino: My first sexual experience I had an encounter with a girl when I was nine. She took off her blouse and she actually had breasts.
Maybe she was older. Maybe I was older. I put my hands on them and she giggled. She was standing in front of a mattress spring and I
pushed her. She bounced off the spring and we repeated that three or four times. I thought that I had been laid. I went right out and
bought a pack of prophylactics. You used to carry them around in your wallet. You didnt know what they did, but .
PB: You mean you didnt have a friend who knew about those things?
Pacino: That would be Cliffy, my closest friend. He looked like a cross between Richard Burton and Marlon Brando. He was a Jewish
guy who wanted to turn Catholic. One of the toughest guys I ever knew. He had something we didnt see, like he knew a secret. He was
wild. He was ahead sexually, too. He read Dostoievsky at 14 and told me how terrific it was. One thing he did, I will never forget, he
tried to feel up my mother once. I saw that. He was about 14. I thought that was really odd.
PB: What did your mother do?
Pacino: She kind of discouraged him and laughed. She seemed to understand it. Maybe she was flattered. I dont know.
PB: Do you still see him today?
Pacino: He was on junk and finally died of drugs at 30. My other best friend died of drugs at 19. My two closest friends.
PB: Did you ever shoot up?
Pacino: No, I never did. That is when we started separating. They were going into other worlds. I would say my mother kept me alive. I
didnt go for the needle at all. I never cared for drugs, because I saw what they did to most people. I thought that was the end of the
road. I liked booze every once in a while. I was doing that when I was about 13the way most young guys do. You would get the guy
on the stree to buy you a bottle because he was older. Drinking and smoking grass were a part of my life as far back as I can remember.
I thought everybody drank. I started smoking cigarettes around nine. I chewed tobacco when I was 10. I smoked a pipe at 11. But it was
Cliffy who was always doing something original, something I had never seen.
PB: Such as?
Pacino: Such as hijacking an entire public bus filled with passengers. Or stealing a garbage truck and pulling up in front of my house with
it. He actually got me into trouble once when he kicked in a store window to get me some shoes. A cop caught him at it and there was
this embarrassing scene in front of a crowd. My grandmother got me out of it. There was always something going on in that
neighborhood. One time I remember going down to where the buses used to be to get some transfers, which we used as play money. I
was about 10, and this strange kid came up to me with a funny look on his face. He said, Sonny, which was my nickname, some
strange guy just came up and peed in my mouth. I thought, that was a weird thing to do. Youd better go up and tell your mother, I
said. Things like that would happen every day.
PB: Sounds like you might have ended up as your friend Cliffy.
Pacino: I once had this job working for the owner of a fruit farm. My friends were outside playing and I was separating the green from
the red tomatoes. The owner came to me and he actually drew a countryside on a board. He diagramed the trees and the paths. He said,
There are two paths in life: the right one and the wrong one. I thought it had something to do with the tomatoes. But it had to do with
my friends outside. He said, Stay with them and you will end up like them. Jobless and free.
PB: Your mother died when she was 43. How old were you?
Pacino: I was 22. My mothers death was traumatic to my whole family. She had certain problems with her blood. She was in the
hospital with some kind of anemia and she was suffering so much. It wasnt expected. My grandfather died a year later. I think it was
part of the reason why. He was a very strong man. Never sick in his life. It makes one a little more fragile when it happens. These are
tough things to talk about.
PB: Were you alone at the time?
Pacino: I was living with someone when my grandfather died. I used to deliver Show Business newspapers to newsstands once a
week, on Thursdays. That was my job at the time. I was on the route, on Broadway and 48th Street, and I passed out. I had trouble
seeing. The doctor looked at me, took my pulse, said my heart was all right and said I should go to the outpatient clinic at Bellevue.
PB: After those deaths, did you become closer to your father?
Pacino: No; as a matter of fact, I didnt talk to my father until years later. You know, Brando said something good in the Playboy
Interview about guilt.
PB: He said it was a useless emotion.
Pacino: Useless. It is. And when you finally come to terms with that, it gets a little easier. I think Im beginning to. Because it took a long
time before I realized I had it.
PB: (After a long pause) What are you thinking?
Pacino: I was thinking about forgiveness and guilt. Forgiving oneself. We forgive others.
PB: Youve had to deal with death at an early age. Do you fear it?
Pacino: At one point in ones life, you get a sense of your own mortality. You view death in a certain way. From that point on, you look
at your fellow man with a new understanding. I have some feelings for it now. They say it happens in your mid-thirties. Sometimes I
have a fantasy of my corpse being carried around in a box, people mourning me. Saying, We shouldnt have treated him so badly. I
had a bone spur in my left toe recently. I said to the doctor, Well, it has to get better, right? He said no. And I realized theres an age
where everything doesnt automatically get better We talk like this, Ill smoke cigarette after cigarette.
PB: We can change the subject.
Pacino: If I die, you can write my epitath: He was just beginning ro resolve some of his problems. In about 10 or 15 years, he would
have been happy. He had made SUCH progress.
PB: Do you ever go back to your old neighborhood in the Bronx?
Pacino: How can you go back there? Its not there anymore. The neighborhood is gone. Its over. That world is over.
PB: What were some of the odd jobs you used to do?
Pacino: I was a mail boy, a janitor, a shoe salesman, I worked in a fruit store, a drugstore, a supermarket, I used to move
furniturethats the hardest work I ever had. The first thing you look at when youre a moving man is the books. Everybody has books,
thousands of them. They put them in boxes. It is very deceptive; they have 5,000 paperbacks in boxes. Im the guy who would got to a
movie job in a taxi. Theyd say, Als a little late, and Id come flying out of a taxi to lug pianos up the stairs for three dollars an hour. I
was also an usher. People would always ask me, What time does the show start? What is the last show that went on? They ask you
all kinds of questions: Is it good? Finally, I figured, these people will listen to anything I sayyoure the usher, right? The Rise of the
House of Usher. So I bet another usher that I could get them to line up across the street. Then I told the people that because of the
crowds, the line was forming across the street, in front of Bloomingdales.
PB: And nobody protested?
Pacino: No, they lined right up.
PB: So you won the ber. Did you get paid?
Pacino: I got fired. Another time, I got fired in mid-strideanother of my famous usher stories. I was an usher at another moviehouse
and I suddenly saw myself in a three-sided mirror. I had never seen my profile. I was about 24 at the time. I couldnt believe it. Who
was this strange looking person? I had never seen the back of my clothes or the back of my head. So I couldnt stop staring at myself.
This manager saw me doing it. He didnt like me from the word go. He just didnt like ushers, I think. He said, Pacino, what are you
looking at? I mumbled something and he warned me not to do it again. But I did the same thing a little later as he was coming down the
stairs and he caught me at it and said, Youre fired! He never stopped, never broke stride, just kept going downstairs. I felt this rush of
happiness. I should have been very unhappy, but I wasnt. I went down to the locker room and I began giggling. A couple of my friends
asked, What happened? I said I had just been fired. Why? I said, Looking at myself too much.
PB: What job did you hold the longest?
Pacino: The longest stretch was with "Commentary magazine. I did office work for a couple of years. I delivered things. I enjoyed
PB: Were you acting then, too?
Pacino: I was going to acting school. The Herbert Berghof Studios. Thats when I got to meet Charlie Laughton. I was about 18. He was
teaching an acting class. I thought there was something about him. I just felt connected to him. Charlie introduced me to writers, to the
stuff that surrounds acting. We became familyCharlies wife and daughter. Charlie and I just sort of stuck. A great actor himself, but
he never pursued it. In acting class, he talked to me like I was a person, not a student. He was responsible for educating me, in a sense.
PB: Was he a father figure?
Pacino: I imagine he was. It went from father figure to brother to friend. I wouldnt have made it here without Charlie. Among many
other things, he put me straight about my drinking. He said, Youre drinking. Look at it and recognize it. I didnt know it and I didnt
know that other people knew. It was a powerful moment in my life. Now I find that when Im around people who do drugs or drink to
excess, I become uncomfortable. Im very sensitive to it and I pick it up.
PB: Was it Laughton who first recognized your star potential?
Pacino: Absolutelyand its an incredible story. I was a 19-year old kid living in a tenement in the Bronx. Charlie was coming by as I
came down the stairs of my tenement, and he just nailed me: Youre going to be a star. There, in the middle of the Bronx. Weird. And
youve got to understand, he doesnt talk that way. I dont talk that way. Neither of us ever mentioned it since then.
PB: Before enrolling at Berghof, didnt you try to get into Lee Strasbergs Actors Studio?
Pacino: Yeah, I auditioned got through the preliminaries and was rejected. Four years later, I auditioned again and was accepted. They
even lent me $50 to pay my rent, from the James Dean Memorial Fund. Dustin and I got in the same year. I kept hearing there was this
actor, Dustin Hoffman, hes terrific.
PB: We heard through the grapevine that youve established a fund at the Actors Studio like the one you borrowed from. True?
Pacino: Yeah; I dont talk about it.
PB: How important was the Actors Studio for you?
Pacino: The Actors Studio meant so much to me in my life. Lee Strasberg hasnt been given the credit he deserves. Brando doesnt give
Lee any creditand the Actors Studio has had such a bad name, which is not representative of what it really did for me. Next to
Charlie, it sort of launched me. It really did. That was a remarkable turning point in my life. It was directly responsible for getting me to
quit all those jobs and just stay acting. It instilled confidence and gave me a place to work out, to connect with people. I could do
anythingShakespeare, ONeillit was a constantly active place where actors were coming in. It was a major part of my life. Ill be
grateful to the Actors Studio forever. Id like to marry that place.
PB: Your first stage appearance was in William Saroyans Hello Out There. It is true you started to cry because the audience laughed
Pacino: The audience laughed at my first line. It was a really funny line and they SHOULD have laughed, but I had never been in front
of an audience doing that play and I didnt know it was funny. I realized I didnt know the part well.
PB: Backtracking a bit, what was it in your childhood that really decided you on acting?
Pacino: One of the things that made me want to be an actor more than ever was seeing a Chekhov play, The Sea Gull, when was 14 in
the Bronx. This traveling troupe came and performed the play in a huge moviehouse. There were about 15 people in the audience. It was
s stunning experience. Another time, later in my life, I was sitting in a restaurant across the street from the New York Shakespeare
Festivals Public Theater. The actors were sitting around a table, with a red-and-white checkered table cloth and an umbrella, the sun
was coming in from the shadeit looked like a Renoir painting. There were seven or eight of them, talking. I said to my friend, You
see them? I cant get my eyes off that group. It was as though they had existed hundreds of years and you could see their roots, their
background, how much like a family they were, how that was something I always wanted .I was drawn to them. Maybe that IS what I
want I dont know.
PB: So we can credit Chekhov with igniting you?
Pacino: Chekhov was as important to me as anybody as a writer. Brecht, as well as Shakespeare, has really helped me in my life. Also,
Henry Miller, Balzac, and Dostoievsky. They got me through my 20s, gave me such a raison detre. The relationships that we have with
writers are quite a thing; they re different from the ones we have with actors or musicians or composers or politicians. Everything for
me is the writer; without him, I dont exist. So he is first. The actor gets all the fame and glory, but I dont know about endurance.
PB: What are your three favorite plays?
Pacino: Forgetting Shakespeare, The Iceman Cometh, The Sea Gull, The Master Builder. ONeill, Chekhov and Ibsen.
PB: Back to your life. For a while, you supported yourself as a building superintendent, right?
Pacino: I was about 26. My friend told me about this job with a rent-free apartment and $14 a week. So I went down and got a boilers
permit and came back and I was a super. It was my first real place that was not a rooming house or sharing with a girlI had lived with
a girl before that. Now I had my own little home. I had no money, hardly anything to eat, but I had a roof over my head. I was a super
for 11 months. I drank, actually but I hung in there and came out of it. It was a very fruitful time and, at the same time, it was the lowest
time in my life. I used to hang an 8x10 glossy of me on the door.
PB: Did it help you meet women?
Pacino: Well, this girl moved into the building. I couldnt believe someone that beautiful existed. I thought I should meet her, but I
couldnt wait for something; I wasnt working and sex was not in the right perspective. So I thought I would blow her lights our, then
that would get her to come downstairs for a fuse and she would
PB: Blow YOUR
Pacino: YOU said that. Why did you have to say that? You spoiled everything. (Laughs) So I went down to the basement and I had to
find the fuse box. I had been the super for six months and I didnt know where the fuse box was. I turned the fuse I thought was her
apartments, ran through the building and out into the yard, to see if Id gotten it right. By the time I got to her apartment, I was
exhausted. She came to the door and I blew it I was just too overanxious. I went up to her apartment and I said, I can fix your lights
and do you want to see the Village? She was fresh from out of town, she didnt know what I was talking about. I came on on a little too
strong and I said, Im blowing this. I know Im blowing it.
PB: Have you ever been afraid of women?
Pacino: Yes, I have been.
PB: In what way?
Pacino: You can depend on them for certain things, but you cannot invest anybody with that much power; its not fair to yourself or to
the person. Its hard to know that, because you DID invest it in your mother, Momma doesnt leave you.
PB: What youre saying is relationships break up. Youve had a number of relationships; whos the one who usually leaves?
Pacino: Its been mutual. I guess I probably have an intense fear of being left.
PB: What do
you look for in a woman?
Pacino: I like women who can cook. (Grins) Thats first. Love is very important, but youve got to have a friend firstyou want to
finally come to a point where you say that the women youre with is also your friend. There s some connection with trust. That takes
time. Love goes through different stages. But it endures. Love endures. Shakespeare said, Even to the edge of doom. If this be error
and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved. You know, it bears it out even to the edge of doom. Loves not Times
fool. Romantic love can be a lot of crap, though, let me tell you. And it can hurt you.
PB: How often have you been in love?
Pacino: Ive been in love twice. The first time, because of my career. I wouldnt have any of it. The second time, I found some other
reason. I knew the first time was promising, but there were a lot of things happening with my life and I could not deal with it at the time.
PB: Were those times with Jill Clayburgh and Marthe Keller?
Pacino: I wont tell you who they were. Sorry about it.
PB: You were with Jill for five years, werent you?
Pacino: I was, yeah. I dont like to talk about things like that.
PB: Do you still see her?
Pacino: I will see Jill occasionally. Shes a friend. Shes married to David Rabe, whos a brilliant playwrite.
PB: When did they meet?
Pacino: He fell in love with Jill when I was with her.
PB: Did Jill know that then?
Pacino: I dont know. She didnt tell me. I guess she didnt know.
PB: Do you see David as well?
Pacino: Even professionally, I dont see him.
PB: What did you think of Jill in An Unmarried Woman?
Pacino: She was excellent, wonderful. She came out. She became one of us, in a sense.
PB: At the time you were with her, in your early 30s, you felt wrapped up in your own career?
Pacino: I wasnt very aware of things at 32. At 32, I was like swimming. Trying to get our of a barrel. I remember one time with Jill, I
was in the bathtub, I had been on a three day .And she came into the bathroom and sat down and said, I suddenly feel lonely. But
you are drunk. I was pickled. It was as though there was a fog on my glasses. The windshield wipers weren t working.
PB: Whats the longest youve ever lived with a woman?
PB: That was a long time ago. Have you juggled a lot of women around?
Pacino: Yes. Well .if you go with three or four different women, you dont necessarily juggle them. They could be juggling you, going
with three or four different guys. There was a time in my life when being dishonest with women was the natural way to be. I finally said,
Hey, I have to stop this silliness. I never talk like thisto men or to women. I just dont. I never had occasion to.
PB: We thought we were being gentle with you about this.
Pacino: I think so, you have been very gentle. If you want to open up with me on that, come on, Im ready.
PB: OK. Sally Kirkland said that women find you fantastically sexy. You re obviously aware of that, arent you?
PB: You cant verbally record a smile.
Pacino: Yes you can. You just did.
PB: And Jill Clayburgh is very complimentary about you; she said you projected power because your lack of egocentricity.
Pacino: Keep em coming!
PB: No reaction, eh? Then lets talk about the womens movement for a moment.
Pacino: (Sings) The girl that I marry .
PB: Would you consider yourself a feminist?
Pacino: (Continues singing)
PB: All right, have you changed your attitudes toward women since you were a kid?
Pacino: Naturally, just be experiencing life. I used to say I wanted to genuflect to a woman, put her up on a pedestal higher and higher,
way up beyond my grasp Then Id find another one. But as an actor, I havent felt that way. Women have always had equal
importance onstage, and working with them must have altered my sensibilities. Ive never felt sensitive to the whole issue, because being
macho has never been a problem with me. But, objectively, sure, I can sympathize with the aims of the movement.
PB: Does breaking up with women affect you differently each time?
Pacino: Lets save that for some other time.
PB: Five minutes ago, you said youd go with us on these questions. Now you say save them.
Pacino: That question doesnt make sense to me. You mean, is there a pattern in breaking up?
PB: How has it affected you emotionally each time? Have you been devastated once, glad the next time, free, sad, neutral? There are
different ways to feel.
Pacino: Yes, thats true, yes.
PB: Youre letting our question be your answer.
Pacino: Because I know someone who has all the answers when I see him.
PB: Now YOURE playing cat-and-mouse. How long were with Tuesday Weld?
Pacino: Close to a year, I guess.
PB: She was a taboo subject to talk about then; is she still?
Pacino: I imagine that I wouldnt really talk about any of the women Ive been with. I just COULDNT do it.
PB: Just doing our job, running down the stories weve heard. What about Carol Kane; were you ever with her?
Pacino: I was never with Carol Kane. Shes a friend of mine.
PB: And Liza Minnelli?
Pacino: Just an acquaintance. I happened to be at her birthday party and she sang a simple song, like My Funny Valentine. It was a
PB: How might it affect your acting to be in a film or a play with a former lover?
Pacino: Well, there needs to be a hiatus, a 20 year hiatus, I think I can handle it. (Laughs) Yeah, it can be fine. You can be friends with
PB: Have you remained friends with all your lovers?
Pacino: Yes, yes I have.
PB: Since you often live with women youre seeing, how has the Lee Marvin case affected you? Would you ever have a contract?
Pacino: No, I would not. The women Ive known, frankly, I would never expect that from any of them.
PB: But what if, after six months, she said, Youve ruined part of my life, I helped you make $2,000,000 that year, I want half.
Pacino: Id say (Screams, imitating George C Scott), You owe me money!
PB: Shouldnt you give it some thought?
Pacino: I will. But its a little premature.
PB: Do you ever experience guilt when a relationship is over?
Pacino: No. I am not aware of it. When I think back on some relationships that I really withdrew from, I feel there are certain things I
had to resolve that still havent been resolved. In order to take a relationship further, in order to be fair to the relationship, you have to
feel like a complete person toward her. It was like half of me was here, but the other half was
PB: In the Bahamas?
Pacino: Yeah. Unexplored turf. There were problems stopping me. There were relationships in my life that I didnt pursue, because I
consciously knew that they wouldnt last. I remember in 1970 stting with a woman friend I was half in the bag. I said, my professional
life is going to go fine, thats clear, but the personal stuffthat relationship wasnt going to last. In a particular point in a relationship, I
understood that there was something in myself that was lacking, that was not there.
PB: Did you get a sense that it was closing in on you? That you needed more space?
Pacino: That is simple, but I guess that would be it. That is the key phrase, the feeling it is closing in on me. And it has to do with you.
The woman isnt closing in on you. It is crazy. What does that mean? Why would she want to close in on you? Why?
PB: That comes when a relationship is getting deeper.
Pacino: Thats right. You dont feel in control. You think, if you let go, you will fall off. You know, we talk about this this hurt and
were not quite able to take it further. When you write, you are able to do it, and when I act, I am able to do it, to go to those parts in
our unconscious that are unleashed. But when we sit here and talk about these subjects, its like you can see it exhausting itself.
PB: Have you thought of having children?
Pacino: I havent had a wife! Yes, I wanted to have a child once. You forget the realities around you, you love the person so much you
want to For that moment, you say yes. Fortunately or unfortunately, it didnt happen. I knew it wasnt the time for it. Im glad. Now I
can. I could have 15 years ago. A couple of times, I regretted it.
PB: Do you have a strong desire to be a father?
Pacino: Yeah. I will wait until it gets stronger. But there is something about it that wasnt there before, that really seems to be there. I
figure Ill get the dog first. Then the kid.
PB: Sounds like youre ready to get married.
Pacino: It would mean something to me to have some kind of focus, something that is solid and there all the time. Something you can
count on and that is regular.
PB: So a family structure is beginning to make more sense to you?
it is. One understands its relationship to life. Too much of the time, there is a
pretended commitment. That is where we get in trouble.
PB: Well, there is certainly no shortage of women who would be interested in testing your commitment. You are aware that youre one
of the more publicly desirable men in the world, arent you?
Pacino: What did you do, consult a poll?
PB: People say theres a magnetism you get across on the screen that has turned you into a sex symbol. Does that make real-life
romance harder for you?
Pacino: I think that is fucking crazy. What are you asking me?
PB: About the nature of being considered a sex symbol and what it does to you.
Pacino: I dont have that sense. I just sense that they are looking at me because I am someone they know. I am famous. I dont go any
further with it.
PB: You dont run into situations in which a woman will come up to you and give you her number?
Pacino: Oh, yeah, yeah, sure.
PB: Do you ever follow up?
Pacino: No, I do not.
PB: Do you keep the numbers?
Pacino: (Laughs) I was in a swimming pool a couple of years ago and this girl was giving me the eye. I was with some friends and I
thought, well, she recognized me and that was it. But there was something different about this girl. She DIDNT know who I was! I
didnt talk to her or come on to her in any way. I just sat there, but it was a great experience, one that I hadnt had for years. It was
delightful. I didnt pursue it in any way, but it was very exciting. It made me feel alive.
PB: How did you know she didnt know who you were?
Pacino: She met me afterward and started talking to me. Either she was the greatest actresss that ever livedthat has happened before, a
woman pretends she doesnt know mebut this was genuine. And it was very moving.
PB: Why didnt you respond to her?
Pacino: I did. I gave her a picture of me. (Laughs)
PB: Oh, great. Did you sign it?
Pacino: I did. I signed it Robert Redford.
PB: Has that ever happened in reverse? That you met someone famous you used to like from afar?
Pacino: When I was a young man, there was a certain celebrity I had a crush on. Some years back, I was at a party and this girl actually
approached me and tried to seduce me. I didnt want her to. I couldnt tell her, A good part of my young adult life Ive had these
fantasies with you, and now here you are. She probably would have said, Lets get married, or something.
PB: The picture that deals with reality and fantasy more than any of your others is Bobby Deerfield. You and the character you play
are both celebrities obsessed by your professions, not easily communicative, and you dont readily relate to outsiders. Would you agree
with Marthe Keller that, of all your roles, Deerfield is the one closest to you?
Pacino: It was probably closest to me at the time.
PB: Did that scare you at all?
Pacino: Sometimes characters you play help you work things out in real life. It was a move away from anything I had done before. Im
very grateful to Sydney Pollack for having that time in my life, it was very important for me personally. It certainly wasnt a career
PB: It was reported that you and Pollack didnt get along very well.
Pacino: We didnt. Its because were different. Sydney had a genuine idea for the movie, it meant something to him. We had different
views, and in a movie like that, you need to be together on it. It was a very delicate subject. On that film, it was necessary to be in sync
with each other and we were just a mess. Maybe we would have been better off had I listened to him more; it would have been
consistent. I didnt quite understand his point of view. There are aspects in the picture that are really good, but it was one that missed for
PB: What were you after in Deerfield?
Pacino: I was after the other side of narcissism. That something that happens to a superstar who is left and idolized, a kind of loneliness I
was after, narcissistic detachment, depression. Thats what it was aboutabout breaking that depression, that self-absorption; opening
like a flower. In my own life, I have not gone into or resolved many things; many things Ive avoided. That is what Bobby Deerfield is
about. About avoidingknowing when to duck, when to move, when to hide, when to go in, when to roll with the punches. That is what
I call my way of survival. That whole idea of when to duck and when to hide and when to move and when to come down. Ive had a lot
of selfish incidents in my life. One day I just turned around and said, I am a selfish bastard and I dont have to be.
PB: Marthe Keller perhaps sensed that. She said that there was something about that part in you that scared her.
Pacino: Thats complicated.
PB: Were you living together?
Pacino: Yeah, we were.
PB: When did you break up?
Pacino: About a year ago.
PB: Is that relationship over?
Pacino: I dont want to talk about it. I cant talk about that experience. Why are you asking me?
PB: Because there was a lot of publicity about it before and after you made the film.
Pacino: There was a lot of publicity about that. Its hard to have a relationship with someone who does what you do. Ive managed to
move away from all that stuffyou never saw anything quoting ME.
PB: People magazine did put the two of you on its cover.
Pacino: I didnt pose for that. Theres damage being done by that, the relationships become crazed by it. Could we not talk about that? I really have to say I cannot talk about it.
PB: Do you ever miss just being a face in the crowd?
Pacino: Theres a wonderful thing about anonymity that I really dont have, to be just pounding the streets like everybody else. Its a really important thing to be able to go into the streets. I miss it, and at the same time .
PB: Youre willing to pay the price?
Pacino: Yeah; its a crazy thing. When I first became famous, it was as though, to paraphrase Pasternak, the lights were pointing in my face and I couldnt see outward. People treat you differently. So you learn to see only a certain side of people. And one loses touch with the way people really are with each other. So when people dont treat you in an ordinary way, it can be damaging to your sense of perspective as an actor and a person.
PB: How did your sense of perspective about the world around you change?
Pacino: The world is a different place for me, thats all there is to it. The world got smaller and the block got bigger. Somebody said to me once, on the street, Youre Al Pacino? I said, Yeah. He said, Well, congratulations, you look like you oughta. (Laughs) Another time I was with Charlie in a delicatessen. I was standing outside. A girl said to him, Is that Al Pacino? He said, yes .She said, no. He said, it IS. She said, Al? I turned around and said, Yes? She said, Oh my. Charlie said, Somebodys gotta be him. I love that.
PB: Do people get nervous around you?
Pacino: They go strange, thats what I call it. I see very normal, sometimes highly intelligent, together people who present such an aura of power and sensibility. Then you walk in front of them and it all goes. They recognize you, they get silly. Only for a moment. It passes and they re back to themselves again. But its a funny kind of thing. The whole thing of being a star like, youre up there and youre a star, then a superstar. What it implies is that youre out of it, youre up there and youre away. That can be sad. One time, this guy said to me on the radio, How do you feel being a superstar? I said, This is my last interview. That was the answer to that.
PB: Still, its your name that brings people to the theaters.
Pacino: I remember one thing that upset Toscanini very much about Caruso. He was having difficulty with a Beethoven thing. Caruso pointed out the window and said, See those lines? Theyre here to see me, not Beethoven. You know, Ive seen a lot of actors so crazy about fame they worry about if BEFORE they become famous. They enjoy going through the preliminaries: What will we do? Will we have to move out of the neighborhood? They love it. That kind of thing can turn me off.
PB: Thats a good idea for a TV sitcom: people preparing for fame.
Pacino: Yeah, it is sort of like looking at your casket.
PB: Would you ever consider doing television?
Pacino: Sure. I dont get TV scripts. If I do stage, I would do TV.
PB: Thats surprising. Most of the major starsHoffman, De Niro, Streisand, up to now yourselfdont do TV.
Pacino: George C. Scott does TV specials. Olivier does television and movies. It depends on the property. If they were to do a TV
version of a play I did, and if I felt it would translate, I would do it. They wanted me to do Pavlo Hummel on television, but I thought
that the experience of the stage production wouldnt translate to TV. Same thing with Richard lll. But Im going to do that again, so
maybe the next time itll be filmed for TV.
PB: Why not Hamlet?
Pacino: Nobody asked me to.
PB: If somebody asked you, would you do it?
Pacino: Yes, of course.
PB: Dont you like to instigate these things?
Pacino: I really dont. There is never a part that I want to do. An actor basically likes to be asked to do something, no matter what
position hes in. It feels more natural. Sitting and waiting is more gratifying.
PB: For things to fall into place?
Pacino: Yeah. The fruit falls off the tree. You dont shake it off before its ready to fall.
PB: Then there are always the missed opportunities, the fruit that rots on the ground.
Pacino: I cant BELIEVE Im having this conversation!
PB: You have a reputation of being a workaholic. Do you like working most of the time?
Pacino: Most things I dont want to do.
PB: Really? What percentage of the scenes you do would you say you dont look forward to doing.
Pacino: Ninety percent of the time.
PB: Lets get that straight. Are you saying that 90% of the scenes you do you dont want to do?
Pacino: Thats right.
PB: You obviously reject a lot of scripts that eventually become films. Are there any pictures that youve turned down that you later
thought were really good?
Pacino: Yes. Ive turned down a lot of them. If I told you the parts I turned down, you would laugh. They were really biggies. I can
name three right now that were Academy Award nominees. Probably more.
PB: What films were they?
Pacino: I cant tell you. Its not fair to the persons who played the parts.
PB: Thats ridiculous. Everybody knows that scripts go to certain people like yourself first.
Pacino: I know when youre after something, your legs start shaking. Maybe Im just too nice to be interviewed, thats all it comes to.
PB: Cant you just do it in a gamehow you might have played a certain role? Some actors will go down a list of what they passed up.
Pacino: Well, thats not really very nice. I just dont like it; it grates me to minimize anybody in any way, to move on anybodys elses
territory. When I talk about this, it puts other actors in another light, in a lesser light, and it just isnt true. Can you understand that?
PB: Absolutely. Now lets talk about it. Lets take something like Kramer V.S. Kramer. Were you offered that?
Pacino: See, weve had a long period of decent talk, but now youre back to, How long a prick do you have? I just wait for it and it
PB: We dont want to keep you waiting.
Pacino: There are times in my life when I didnt even read what was being offered me. Sometimes I can smell something thats not right
PB: You obviously felt that with Kramer V.S. Kramer.
Pacino: It was a book, it wasnt a screenplay yet. I didnt get into the book. I had a feeling it was not for me.
PB: You mean because its about a married man and his son?
Pacino: And the divorce courts and stuff. I didnt feel, at this point, it would be useful.
PB: What other films caused conflict with you?
Pacino: I dont know. Days of Heaven. I love Terrence Malick and I love the picture. And Coming Home. I was making Born on
the Fourth of July at one time. It was too close.
PB: Whatever happened to that project?
Pacino: That was a go project. Billy Freidkin and Oliver Stone wrote a terrific screenplay, but Billy couldnt do it for some reason.
Apparently, there was a studio that wouldnt let him out of a commitment. When a director is taking on a picture of that size and
dimension, its his picture. I had an interest in making it with Billy. So, suddenly, Freidkin is out of the picturenow what? I wasnt
going to make that movie.
PB: Would you ever consider directing a film yourself?
Pacino: Everybody seems to do it. Its very hard to do. Ive directed plays, but only when I felt strongly about the play, and I did it all, I
did the sets, the costumes. If I wanted to make a movie and really take over, I would do it. But I believe very much that directors are
directors and actors are actors. Id very much like to keep maintaining the independence I have as an actor: You pay me a salary, I come
and do a job. The last three pictures Ive made have been that kind of thing.
PB: Did Coppola come to you for Apocalypse Now?
Pacino: Yes, he wanted me to do it. I told him I hadnt been in the Army and I ddint intend to go in the Army nowand if I were to go,
I wouldnt want to go to war with him. He said to someone later, Al would do that film if we could film it in his apartment.
PB: Speaking of the Army, how did you stay our?
Pacino: The first time, I was made 1-Y. That meant I had to go back in a year. I guess I wasnt ready then.
PB: What do you mean you werent ready?
Pacino: I failed the tests. Who knows?
PB: Do you know or dont you know?
Pacino: Look, I might have gone into the Army at 18 or 19, but by the time they called me up, I was 23and too much had already
happened to me. Among other things, I had just lost my mother and my grandfather in the same year. I certainly wasnt ready for the
Army and the Army wasnt ready for me.
PB: That was before Vietnam, right?
Pacino: Yes, it was peacetime. I guess thats why they were so lenient with me.
PB: So it wasnt that war you were against but the systems telling you where to go for the next two years.
Pacino: Yeah; that was the most impossible thing. You know, I still have a thing about that. I feel they could somehow call me up
againat the age of 39. I know Ill pass my physical and I know theyll take me into the Army. (Laughs) But, as Charlie said to me, Al,
dont worry about it, they dont want you. Believe me, they dont want you.
PB: Enough about traumatic matters; lets talk about money. In 1972, you said that youve done a lot of things in your life for money,
but the one thing you havent done for money is act. Would you retract that now?
Pacino: I wont act for money. I dont think I ever will. The big item when I do off-Broadway is the fact that Im getting only $250 a
week. In that area, you can anger people no endyou start talking about how you dont care about money and there you are, pulling in
$1,000,000 or whatever. I feel kind of funny about that, because it really can grate on peoples nerves. When youre dealing with
money, people change, they go a little strange. I know because Ive been there. I asked this guy once for five bucks. Before that, it was,
Hey, howre ya doing? Havent seen you for so long. I say, Pretty good, you know, and finally I ask for the five dollars. He goes,
See you tomorrow, man, well meet at this time. He makes arrangements and you get there and hes not there. People go crazy with
PB: Do friends borrow from you now?
Pacino: Naturally. But theres nothing like that to ruin a relationship. If friends need some money, Ill lend it to them, sure. When Im
lending it, I preface it by saying, Look, if this affects the relationship in any way, forget it. Invariably it does, though.
PB: Are there any projects youd like to do that you havent signed for yet?
Pacino: Theres one thing Id like to do and thats the life of Modigliani. Paris in that time, the changing of the Romantic period. I
thought that would make a good movie. I had a friend who went to Paris to write a first-draft screenplay. Its a little subjective. Ive
given it to Coppola. If he doesnt like it, Ill give it to Bertolucci or Scorsese.
PB: What about plays?
Pacino: I will do Richard lll again, naturally. And Brecht on Broadway.
PB: After your successes in film, you retuned to the theaterwas that a way of coping with what happened to you?
Pacino: I went back to the stage because it was my way of dealing with the success I had, my way of coping. It was a way of escaping
the responsibilty of what was happening. What I used to say was it was my love of the stage, but I dont think so. I think it was my need
to say, This is what I am. This is what I do. This other thing I am unfamiliar with, it scares me. It s too much.
PB: Have you ever felt threatened as an actor?
Pacino: I used to feel that. I would be in a play and somebody would come and I would say, That guy looks a little like me; I guess they
are going to replace me. Insecurity.
PB: Do you dream about your characters when you are playing them?
Pacino: When Im about to do a project, I dream about the character, about the play, all the time. Acting is hard work. At times, its very
energizing and enervating. Its childish. Its also responsible. Its illuminating, enriching, joyful, drab. Its bizarre, diabolical. It
sexciting. Eleonora Duse said its such a horrible word: acting. It makes you feel bad just saying it. Its more trying to get at some
certain truth, some common denominator, some exchange, some connection, that makes us feel a certain truth in ourselves. The way of
acting that you really try to finally learn is how NOT to act. Thats where its at. Acting is NOT acting.
PB: What are the qualities that make up a good actor and a good director?
Pacino: There are all kinds of good actors. There are actors who are strong in suggestibility. There are actors who are intellectually
attacking material. There are actors who are very instinctive and operate completely on tremendous believability in situations. There are
actors who are able to find the humor of a situation immediately, get right to the essence of something. As for directors, basically, great
directors can understand the staging in such a way that can make a scene come alive. Others have a certain way of pacing the scene.
Others have a way of setting a kind of ambience around the set that makes everybody creative around them.
PB: Have you ever considered you image onscreen? At the end of The Godfather, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and now And Justice for All, you appear all alone. You are the loner.
Pacino: Well, most of the successful characterizations that any actor does seem to be those kind of characters.
PB: But have you ever thought about it?
PB: That youre always alone.
Pacino: Thats why I cant wait for you to leave. (Laughs) See, as our relationship develops, you get hurt. Thats wonderful.
PB: Well, its almost that time. Just a few more questions. What was it that Marlon Brandos make-up man once said to you?
Pacino: I said, Im not going to California. He said, Dont worry, I heard Marlon say that. Youll be out there in three years. Well, I
haven t moved yet. I havent moved out of this apartment.
PB: What do you think of Los Angeles?
Pacino: I like parts of L.A. But after a while, I cant help but feel that need to be around people. I cant take it in a car anymore. I need
to be on the ground with people walking by me, crisscrossing. California gets you slap-happy.
PB: Youre a true New Yorker.
Pacino: Its my turf. I really love New York. You can imagine how I know it, having come here when I was 16 from the Bronx. I was a
city messenger when I was 16, on a bicycle. I worked 11 hours a day just riding the streets of the city. I watched this city, Ive walked it,
lived in it, I know it in all kinds of times of my life. Its home. I know it all, from Battery Park right up to Harlem. I know lightsI can
time myself so I never get a light. I used to walk from 92nd Street and Broadway right to the Village and back again, bopping along the
street, thinking of parts. I worked out a lot of my role in Godfather One that way. I still get out there in the streets as much as I can.
Watch a guy put 40 packs of crackers in his soup.
PB: You sound like a permanent resident.
Pacino: Ive already been here too long. I want to get out.
PB: What about the museums; ever go to the Modern?
Pacino: Sometimes. I go to look at Picassos Woman in a Chair. I know every time I go to the museum that Im going to come away
feeling different. Its almost like going to the Y.
PB: Is there anything that upsets you?
Pacino: The thing that can get you a little upset is when people say other people are better than you. That can bug you.
PB: What about fears?
Pacino: I have normal ones. I have a fear of electricity.
PB: Do you have a philosophy?
Pacino: I believe in one day at a time; youve got TODAY, thats what you ve got.
PB: What about analysis?
Pacino: I dabble from time to time. I mean, THIS is analysis. By the time were finished, I will be empty and it (indicates the tape
recorder) will be full. Its a crazy feeling. I get the feeling when you leave I will be interviewing myself.
PB: What makes you cry?
Pacino: The end of this interview. (Laughs) I had a fantasy the other night that this interview is so great that they no longer want me to
actjust do interviews. I thought of us going all over the world doing interviewsweve signed for three interviews a day for six
PB: Thats what you think. Enough is enough.
Pacino: What? Youve just put me through somethingand its over? Where are your whips?
PB: Any last words?
Pacino: Yeah. YOU OWE ME MONEY!
PB: Not after you read this.