THE EM­PIRE CLAS­SIC SCENE DONNIE BRASCO CHO­SEN BY MICHAEL SHEEN

Empire (UK) - - RE.VIEW -

Michael Sheen: “This scene to­wards the end of

Donnie Brasco re­ally stays with me. Al Pa­cino has just found out that Johnny Depp’s char­ac­ter was an un­der­cover agent. Here he’s in his apart­ment and he gets a phone call to set him up to be killed. The whole weight and emo­tion of the scene is in the mind of the au­di­ence and you as an ac­tor have to de­cide, how much do you lean on that? How much do you play that? Al Pa­cino makes all the right choices. It’s one of the great­est pieces of act­ing I’ve ever seen, be­cause of what he does­nõt do.” INT. LEFTY’S APART­MENT — NIGHT Close-up on the tele­vi­sion. A wildlife doc­u­men­tary is play­ing.

VOICEOVER: Hye­nas kill many young chee­tahs.

Ben­jamin ‘Lefty’ Rug­giero (Al Pa­cino) is in his arm­chair, smok­ing a cig­a­rette. He’s dressed in a suit.

The phone rings. Lefty an­swers it. LEFTY: Yeah? We don’t hear the other end of the con­ver­sa­tion. LEFTY: Yeah, al­right. Al­right, yeah.

He doesn’t re­act. All he does is take an­other drag of his cig­a­rette. His wife, An­nette (Ron­nie Farer), comes in. She’s towel-dry­ing her hair, fresh out of the shower.

AN­NETTE: Was that for me? LEFTY: Uh, no. It was a guy I gotta go see. AN­NETTE: So late? LEFTY: What am I gonna do?

Lefty gets out of his chair and walks to­wards her. He puts his arm on her back and leads her out of the lounge.

LEFTY: Who knows with these peo­ple? Honey, don’t wait up for me tonight.

AN­NETTE: No? LEFTY: Nah. I don’t know how long I’ll be. He opens the closet door and takes out his coat. LEFTY: And lis­ten to me. As he puts it on, he con­tin­ues to talk.

LEFTY: If Donnie calls, tell him… tell him, uh… if it was gonna be any­one, I’m glad it was him. Al­right?

He hugs his wife. Kisses her on the lips. LEFTY: Look how beau­ti­ful you look. Good­bye. AN­NETTE: [slightly taken aback] Bye, Ben.

She goes into the bed­room, and takes one last look back at Lefty.

At the front door, Lefty checks his watch. He’s about to open the door when he stops, and goes back into the lounge. Keep­ing an eye on the bed­room, he opens a drawer. He puts his watch into it, and then takes off his wed­ding ring. Then his lighter, fol­lowed by his keys.

We see a close-up of the box as Lefty places a roll of dol­lar bills in­side it, and then his watch.

Fi­nally, he takes off the chain around his neck, kisses it, and places it in­side the box. He smooths down his hair. He pulls open the box, so An­nette will see it, and walks to­ward the door. Reach­ing into his coat pocket, he pulls out his glasses and puts them on. He takes one look back at the apart­ment he knows he will never see again, opens the door, and leaves.

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