“They offered me so much money,” the Oscar winner recalled. “I gave Harrison Ford a career.”
Al Pacino could easily turn down the offer to play Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’.
The Oscar winner revealed that he turned down the 1977 film despite being offered “so much money” for the role. Pacino starred in such hits as “The Godfather” (1972), “Serpico” (1973), “The Godfather Part II” (1974) and “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975).
“Well, I turned down Star Wars.” When I first came out, I was the new kid on the block,” Pacino said at an event at the 92nd Street Y in New York (via Species). “You know what happens when you first become famous. It’s like, “Give it to Al.” They would give me Queen Elizabeth to play.”
Pacino, who will next star in King Lear, added: “They gave me a script called ‘Star Wars.’ They offered me so much money. I do not understand. I’m reading. So I said I can’t do it.”
He joked, “I gave Harrison Ford a career.”
Ford previously starred in “American Graffiti,” “The Conversation” and “Kung Fu” before breaking out as Han Solo in “Star Wars” and later helming the “Indiana Jones” franchise.
Pacino also reflected that his career was “over” during a tough “Godfather” production. Director Francis Ford Coppola told Pacino that he had “failed” the film during dinner.
“I’m standing there thinking, ‘What the hell have I done?’ Pacino said, and Coppola advised him to “go to Paramount.”
“I wanted to come out of nowhere and create some kind of mystery by the end of the movie,” Pacino said. “I was interested in his transition and I thought I couldn’t save him. After the first day of shooting, Diane Keaton and I got drunk. We thought, “That’s it, our career is over.”
Pacino noted that the “Solozzo scene where Michael shoots the cop” was “pushed up” by Coppola because he “thought Paramount was going to kick him out”.
The actor added: “I do the scene and they liked it and kept me in because I shot someone.”
On the 50th anniversary of the release of “The Godfather” in March 2022, Pacino called the sudden fame from the film “a bolt of lightning.”
“I felt like the veil was suddenly lifted and all eyes were on me. Of course, they also appeared in the rest of the film. But ‘The Godfather’ gave me a new identity that I struggled to deal with,” Pacino said. “It’s a job I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. But it took me a lifetime to accept and move on. It’s not like I played Superman.”
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