Al Pacino is a living legend, and when he turns out the goods the highly-regarded veteran can still knock them dead with strong performances like that of his Jimmy Hoffa role in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”.
That said, Pacino’s also known for picking some fairly bad films to star in since the turn of the millennium including “Gigli,” “88 Minutes,” “Two for the Money,” “Righteous Kill,” “Misconduct,” “Hangman,” “Jack & Jill” and a few others.
Speaking with GQ this week alongside Robert De Niro during “The Irishman” promotional rounds, Pacino admits that he has a reason for purposely starring in bad films. Turns out he’s trying elevate the material:
“You know what? I may be falling into a bad habit now. I think I’m starting to get a little perverse. I’m starting to want to do films that aren’t really very good and try to make them better. And that’s become my challenge. I don’t think I go in thinking it’s not gonna be very good, but it’s like Bob said: Sometimes they offer you money to do something that’s not adequate. And you talk yourself into it. And somewhere within you, you know that this thing is gonna be a lemon.
But then, when it comes full circle, and you see it, you say, ‘Oh, no. I’m gonna make this better.’ And you spend a lot of time and you’re doing all these things, and you say, ‘If I can just get this to be a mediocre film,’ and you get excited by that. It’s an impulse that I’ve got to just put that away now. ‘Every time I get the urge to exercise, I lie down till it passes.’ That’s Oscar Wilde, I think. But the point is that it’s true. I work onstage a lot when I’m not doing other things.”
De Niro himself along with other actors like Nicolas Cage and Bruce Willis have also famously slipped into pumping out dreck in recent years with the occasional exception bringing them back into the limelight.
Pacino also starred in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” earlier this year and is filming his first TV series, the Jordan Peele-produced 1970s Nazi-hunting true story thriller “Hunters,” which Amazon will premiere next year.
“The Irishman” is playing in select theaters now and arrives on Netflix on November 27th.