I didn’t attend this Deadline-sponsored q & a between Dominic Patten and Humbling star Al Pacino, but I attend a similar session last night at the Sherman Oaks Arclight between Pacino and Deadline‘s Pete Hammond. And it was almost all fun. I loved the stories Pacino told about being cast in The Godfather (he originally wanted to play Sonny) and how Paramount executives wanted to fire him because he was playing Michael in what they felt was an overly submerged and muffled way, but then he saved himself when he performed the Italian restaurant assassination scene. “They just wanted to me shoot somebody,” Pacino recalled. Here, again, is my own recent discussion with Pacino.
The big news for me is that Pacino will be starring in a new David Mamet play sometime next year (probably in the fall) in New York.
“There’s an amusing easy-chair quality about The Humbling,” I wrote a while back. “It’s a mildly perverse thing, shot in and around Levinson’s home in Redding and other Fairfield County environs. For my money Pacino’s Simon Axler, an aging, louche, has-been actor, is worth the price — Al really knows from jaded aplomb. And I enjoyed the combustible, tilt-angle relationship that occurs between him and Greta Gerwig’s Pegeen Stapleford, a lesbian who decides to have a whirl at a heterosexual dalliance when Pacino rolls into the room, partly because she had a crush on him when young.”
The Humbling and Manglehorn, Pacino’s other recently released film, “are meditations about the perils of being an aging, fickle-ego type who’s long since given up on being a good family man or a go-alonger of any kind. Both are saying ‘if you’ve come this far without a loyal wife or girlfriend or a family to hang with over the holidays then fuck it…just play it like you always have. Enjoy and fulfill as best you can. Otherwise life is short and then you die.'”