[09/21/06 - 12:00 AM]
Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio" Welcomes Legendary Actor Al Pacino as He Talks In-Depth About His Enduring Career

[via press release from Bravo]




NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 21, 2006 - Bravo's 12-time Emmy-nominated series "Inside the Actors Studio" welcomes legendary Academy-award-winning actor Al Pacino. Host James Lipton sits down for a close-up interview with Pacino on life and career as one of the world's acting icons. The special two-hour episode premieres Monday, October 2, 7-9 PM ET/PT.

One of the greatest actors of all time, Pacino established himself during the 70s, and has become an enduring and iconic performer. Thanks to his roles in such classic films as "The Godfather," "Serpico," "Scarface," "Dog Day Afternoon," and "Glengarry Glen Ross," Pacino has garnered numerous prestigious awards including seven Academy Award nominations with one win for "Scent of a Woman"; 14 Golden Globe Award Nominations and 3 Golden Globes wins, as well as the Golden Globe Cecil B. Demille Award for Lifetime Achievement; the Directors Guild of America award for his direction of "Looking for Richard"; and an Emmy for his portrayal of Roy Cohn in "Angels in America." Pacino, a co-president of the Actors Studio (along with Ellen Burstyn and Harvey Keitel), shares stories and insights with Lipton from his long and accomplished career.

In this special edition of "Inside the Actors Studio," Pacino reflects on his beginnings. The Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-winner reveals his shyness as a child, his upbringing in a poor family, and the ups and downs he experienced on his path to stardom. Born on April 25th, 1940 in the South Bronx, New York, Pacino's parents (Salvatore and Rose) divorced when he was young. His mother moved them into his grandparents' house, where his grandfather, who was ironically from Corleone in Sicily, played a large role in his upbringing. Finding himself often repeating the plots and voices of characters that he had seen in the movies, Pacino was destined to be an actor. During the early days, he started out doing standup comedy, revues and even musicals. One of his first acting jobs was a part in the play "The Creditors," during which time Pacino was homeless and sleeping on the same stage that he performed on. In 1966, he made it into the prestigious Actors Studio, studying under the famous artistic director Lee Strasberg.

Pacino goes on to discuss his memorable movies and the stories behind them. Viewers learn of Paramount studio's initial reservations of him playing Michael Corleone in the landmark film "The Godfather," how he developed the infamous character of "Scarface," the challenge of portraying a blind man in "Scent of a Woman" (which earned him a Best Actor Oscar), and his experience of working with Robert DeNiro in "Heat."

ON WHY THE ACTORS STUDIO IS IMPORTANT TO HIM: "It's a place I believe in. It's a place where people can come and develop themselves in their work, away from the spotlight. Free to exercise and exorcise."

ON THE ACTORS STUDIO: "That was the Mecca. The studio was the symbol for the quasi revolution in theatre. Well, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Kazan and Brando, of course, the great James Dean, Paul Newman. It was all part of what you heard as kids. I was just a boy and I was hearing about it. The doors were open to all of us."

ON PARAMOUNT'S RESERVATIONS TO CAST HIM AS MICHAEL CORLEONE IN "THE GODFATHER": "When he (Francis Ford Coppola) got the script of 'Godfather' and he called me and said he wanted me to play Michael... I thought 'he's out of his mind.'� Why use me? Why would I be in that part? There are so many wonderful actors out there who could do it, and they're well known. Even I didn't want me. I didn't think he (Coppola) was right actually. And of course Paramount felt the same way. The reason I was hired in the 'Godfather' finally was because they saw eight minutes of 'Panic in Needlepark.' That is the reason. It was Francis Coppola's persistence, but it was eight minutes from that movie."

ON HIS FEARS OF BEING REPLACED DURING THE MAKING OF "THE GODFATHER": "I'm still wondering why I wasn't! I was sure I was going to be replaced�and I finally just wanted to be replaced. I thought, 'What am I doing here? This is not working. I don't feel wanted (by Paramount).' An actor needs comforting and a certain amount of feeling that people want you there."

ON ROBIN WILLIAMS: "As a matter fact, he's one of my heroes. I always try to be him. Any kind of situation, I always try to be like Robin Williams, and be funny. He's my idol! And the one film I do with him is not funny ('Insomnia')."

ON A POST-OSCAR ELEVATOR EXPERIENCE: "I won the Oscar. I was in shock and overwhelmed by the whole thing. I get in the elevator and I'm going down with a lot of people, we're packed like sardines. And I had my Oscar. A very well known actress is standing in front of me and she starts to squirm a little bit. And I realize the head of my Oscar is touching her behind. And I thought, "oh man, this is so weird." I pick the Oscar up and I leaned over in her ear and said, 'Oh pardon me, that wasn't me, it was my Oscar.'"

ON HIS PORTRAYAL OF ROY COHN IN "ANGELS IN AMERICA": "My Roy Cohn is Tony Kushner's Roy Cohn. I believe that's who wrote it. That's the score. That's what you're playing. You're playing the score. It's not a documentary on Roy Cohn. Those scenes are kind of actor-proof. So brilliantly, beautifully written. And so it's there. The character is there�it's like music. Those are the notes you go to."

Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 80 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process, and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed original programming includes the Emmy-nominated "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List," 12-time Emmy-nominated "Inside the Actors Studio," "The Real Housewives of Orange County," "Top Chef," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye," and the four-time Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway."

Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been an NBC cable network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit www.bravotv.com.

  [september 2006]  


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