Born in, of all places Harlem and raised in the Bronx, forced to leave an already broken home when he made the choice to pursue acting, Al Pacino was born tough and lived it as well (being known as a troublemaker and fighter in school)
He actually won the “triple crown” in getting not only an Oscar, but an Emmy and a Tony for work across film, television and stage…which is a fairly rare achievement, to say the least. He did study under Strasberg and the hated Method, but he graduated to that after honing his craft at another New York based theatrical school, which may account for his rising above the usual mumblypeg and borderline schizophrenic “I AM the devil” absurdities you see in folks like Brando, De Niro or Pitt…and which took down more fragile egos like Dean and Monroe.
Impressing Francis Ford Copolla enough to get cast in what wound up being three Godfather films in the pivotal role of Michael Corleone (perhaps appropriate, as his family hailed from that city in Italy), Pacino wound up starring in several films that were touchpoints of a generation: Serpico. Dog Day Afternoon. And Justice For All…all of which featured him as a sort of counterculture antihero, standing up to a corrupt system at great personal cost.
Alternating his later career between various mob film roles trading on his Godfather cachet and more interesting oddities like Cruising, Sea of Love and even the much beloved Scent of a Woman, join us as we talk one of the greatest, most intense yet nuanced actors of our time, the one and only Al Pacino!
Week 72: An Actor's Actor - Al Pacino