The other night Christian Science Monitor critic Peter Rainer passed along a good Al Pacino story. It happened fairly recently although I forget where. The 74 year-old Pacino, who’s now doing press for Barry Levinson‘s The Humbling (Millennium, 1.23.15), was about to participate in some q & a appearance at a hotel or cinema, and while he waited he was sitting on a bench and reading a new script. (Or something like that.) And a couple of women came over and one said, “I’m very sorry but could you please do us a big favor?” Okay, said Pacino. “Could you please take our picture?” she said, referring to herself and her friend. Beat, beat. “Uhhm, okay!” said Pacino. He took the shot, the women thanked him and we went back to his script.

When I heard this I was reminded of a tale Peter Ustinov told in that “making of Spartacus” video interview that initially appeared on the Criterion laser disc, and which is now on YouTube. Go to the 12:55 mark on the video below.