Al Pacino in a scene from the film 'The Godfather: Part II', 1974. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
Al Pacino Was Almost Fired Two Weeks Into Filming The Godfather
Whether you’ve seen it or not, you’ve no doubt heard of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather,” about a young man who ends up becoming one of the most powerful dons in the Mafia. For his performance as the protagonist Michael Corleone, Al Pacino is forever synonymous with the movie, but the young actor was almost fired after only a few weeks on set.
In an interview, Pacino revealed that although “Francis [Coppola] wanted [him] in the film, nobody else did,” and he had to jump through some hoops to convince everyone he was right for the part. However, once he got on set, the Paramount executives’ doubts were renewed, because as Pacino said, “They didn’t care for what they were seeing.”
Pacino chose to play Corleone as “this kid you don’t quite know who he is, where he’s going. And then before you know it, he becomes this leader without tracking it.” Although Paramount initially wasn’t happy with his portrayal of Corleone, they didn’t fire him, and his performance is perhaps one of the most complex and nuanced ever seen on film.