Mobster who’s just a stand up guy when off-screen
you don’t want to repeat yourself,” he says. “But I felt this was a little off beat. It was a little bit about friendship and had a certain humour to it. And it’s a character that I don’t think I’ve played,” he says of Val, a man released from prison after serving 28 years for refusing to give up one of his criminal associates.
“I like the idea of someone being away for that long. Imagine being out of touch for all that time,” says the actor.
Dressed head-to-toe in black and with a myriad of rings and chains, Pacino might look tough but he proves easy company and there’s an unexpected softness about him. Not least when he’s talking about his 12-year-old twins Anton and Olivia from his relationship with actress Beverly D’Angelo (he also has a 23-year-old daughter, Julie, from his relationship with the acting coach Jan Tarrant), who he credits with keeping him young. You wonder what they must think of their dad’s status as one of the greatest actors of all time. Pacino certainly hasn’t got his head round the accolade.
“But I’m always flattered and happy that people appreciate what I do and show it like they do. It’s great, it’s really gratifying but do I myself believe it? I don’t know, to me it’s almost abstract,” he smiles.
Born Alfredo James Pacino in New York’s the Bronx, Pacino studied with Lee Strasburg at the Actor’s Studio before making his professional acting debut in off-Broadway productions.
“Theatre is where I started and what I enjoy going back to,” says Pacino, who talks wistfully of once spending seven months on a production of Oedipus, not to perform it for an audience but purely for the enjoyment of preparing it.
MADE MEN: Al Pacino and Christopher Walken in the new movie StandUpGuys, out today.