Pacino’s still passionate after 50 years

2015-01-25 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

His latest character is a washed-up actor who’s lost all lust for life, but Oscar winner Al Pacino says he still has an appetite for making movies.

It’s been 50 years since Pacino started acting and his latest gig, The Humbling, is a passion project based on a Philip Roth novel.

He also co-produced it – on a slim budget of $2?million (R22.8?million). The Humbling was shot in just 20 days, most of it at director Barry Levinsohn’s house in Connecticut, US.

It’s the story of aging actor Simon Axler, who starts an affair with the lesbian daughter of his one-time flame in a bid to rekindle some magic in his life.

Pacino, chatting to City Press in a hotel room in Toronto ahead of the film’s release, says the magic is still there for him – especially when it comes to making a film he believes in.

“What I liked about The Humbling was the fact that it was a world that I understood, one I knew very well.

“It’s wonderful to do a film about a world you know, to be able to really get into it. It’s a tragic comedy,” he says.

“Doing a film is hard – doing The Humbling wasn’t easy, it never is – but it was easier because it was a world we knew that was close to something I wanted to say about things. When you’re enjoying a film because you feel you have something to offer, then it works.”

As he heads into his 75th year, Pacino could sit back and reflect contentedly on a long career that includes eight Oscar nominations (and one win for Scent of a Woman), dozens of characters that have left an indelible mark on cinema history and a rich variety of stage work.

But he says he’s not done yet.

Ever chasing that next great role, Pacino still enjoys doing theatre. He’s currently working on a David Mamet play called China Doll, which is due to open in October on Broadway.

He admits that being older means he’s limited in what he can and can’t do.

“It’s something that I felt even at 37,” he says, remembering The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, which he did in the 1970s.

“I was playing a crazy guy, [trying to save] a dead person, and a Vietcong comes and stabs me in the stomach while I have this guy in my hands, and then I had to somersault and roll down the ramp.

“I went to Broadway with the play five years later, and I couldn’t do it any more. It was a feat of enormous strength and I was still young – 36, 37 years old.”

Age has helped him get better at letting go of the roles he’s played.

“Early on, it took a lot out of me doing The Godfather [Part I and II] because the character was very inward, and wonderful to play, but harder to let go. Dog Day [Afternoon], too, was hard to let go. Now I find it easier to assimilate and then let go.”

Asked which is his favourite Al Pacino movie, the actor is unwilling to choose.

“There are movies I’ve done that I don’t remember – I got kind of a block on the 70s. Some of my best movies were made then, but maybe I was under the influence of something,” he chuckles (he’s been a recovered alcoholic since the end of that decade).

“I’ve done so many things,” he continues. “So for now, I’m going to say I can say The Humbling is my favourite.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.