What's so great about Al Pacino

Al Pacino turns 80: "A volcano that is still shaking"

Already at the age of six he is said to have made friends and relatives laugh with his parodies, and with his role in "The Godfather" Al Pacino made his big breakthrough as an actor. He will be 80 years old on April 25, 2020 - and is still regularly in front of the camera. 3sat honors the great actor with a small series.

80 years - and not a bit wise. If you want to characterize an elderly person as particularly young at heart, the slogan is often quoted. But in the case of the Italian-born New Yorker Al Pacino, it does apply. Only last year, 2019, did he meet for a class reunion in "The Irishman" with other film godfathers such as Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Joe Pesci. Digital tricks helped through the ages. And to top it off, this year he appeared in the Amazon series "Hunters" as a relentless US Nazi hunter from the 70s. He was always an angel of revenge. Anger keeps you young.

The uncompromising character actor was nominated six times for an Oscar before he finally won it in 1993 for the role of the blind ex-Colonel Frank Slade in "The Scent of Women". After that, Pacino, the offspring of Italian immigrants, grew up in poor conditions in the Bronx, more in demand than ever. For "Donnie Brasco" he stood next to Demi Moore and Johnny Depp in front of the camera, for "Looking for Richard" he was everything: producer, actor, writer and director.

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Two things have never been forgotten about the theater actor ("Richard III."), Who was passionate from childhood: his origins in the Actor's Studio Lee Strasbergs and thus method acting - and his resemblance to Robert De Niro, with whom he likes to hang out is confused. He is the outrageous with gestures, the other, De Niro, rather turned inward. The greatest recognition to date was given to Pacino in 2007 in Los Angeles with the Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. At the gala, the great Robin Williams didn't miss the remark that if you put Robert De Niro in a tumble dryer, Al Pacino would come out afterwards. 1.77 would become 1.70 meters.

"Today I only love ice cream and cookies"

Legend has it that when he was six, Al Pacino, the son of a Sicilian immigrant - his father left his mother when he was two - made friends and family laugh at his parodies. He was, as he claimed, "a lonely child". At twelve, the friends were already queuing for autographs ("I always signed with 'Scotty Scott'"). So there was no bad word at home when he dropped out of school at 16 to get by as a comedian in cafes and comedy clubs.

The problems came later. The sudden fame after the mafia epic "The Godfather" (1972), after the police film "Serpico" (1973) and after "Hundstage" (1975) from the time of New American Cinema was too much for the psyche of the Strasberg student : "In the mid-1970s, some things came too quickly to me," he said later. "I had a few dropouts, so I went to Alcoholics Anonymous for a while, then stopped drinking and smoking. Today I only like ice cream and cookies."

But the media-shy star also took acting more slowly, who occasionally defined himself as "manic-depressive with fun having fun". Pacino made only a handful of films during the next decade (including de Palma's violent "Scarface," 1983). His addiction to perfection drove directors and producers into a frenzy - or he got out of projects that were already planned. The low point came with "Revolution" in 1985. It was not until the thriller "Sea of ​​Love" (1989) that the almost forgotten Italian-American came back into the limelight. "The Godfather - Part III" with the most famous silent scream in film history, the romantic comedy "Frankie and Johnnie" and the highly acclaimed comic book adaptation "Dick Tracy" cemented this comeback at the beginning of the 90s.

The black eyes under the dyed black hair are still looking out into the world with hypnotic power. In his private life, the woman's darling, who was never married and, according to his long-time partner Marthe Keller, "only ever gave flowers", is at peace with himself. He has three children (including twins). He once called the now 30-year-old daughter Julia "the most important woman in my life". It was lucky for him that he became a father late: "My life experience is greater. It's great to be a father, an actor and a lover, 24 hours a day," he said. In the 3sat portrait, however, Marthe Keller reveals: "He has become calmer. But he is someone who can still get inside. He is a volcano that is still trembling!"

Films for Al Pacino's 80th birthday on 3sat

  • "Kurzer Prozess - Righteous Kill", feature film USA 2008, 3sat, April 24th, 10.30pm
  • "A cop with a dark past", feature film USA 2010, 3sat, April 24th, 0.05 am
  • "Sea of ​​Love - Melody of Death", feature film USA 1989, 3sat, April 25th, 11.10 pm
  • "Al Pacino - Star against Will", documentation by Lukas Hoffmann, first broadcast, 3sat, April 25th, 10:10 pm

Source: teleschau - der mediendienst GmbH