2. My weaknesses…I wish I could come up with something. I'd probably have the same pause if you asked me what my strengths are. Maybe they're the same thing.
3. I don't need bodyguards. I'm from the South Bronx.
4. At this point in my career, I don't have to deal with audition rejections. So I get my rejection from other things. My children can make me feel rejected. They can humble you pretty quick.
5. Did you know I started out as a stand-up comic? People don't believe me when I tell them. That's how I saw myself, in comedy.
6. All due respect and trying to be as modest as I can be, I am a dancer. But I don't think I would be on "Dancing with the Stars," mainly because I would be too shy.
7. Francis Ford Coppola did this early on. You tape a movie, like a radio show, and you have the narrator read all the stage directions. And then you go back like a few days later and then you listen to the movie. And it sort of plays in your mind like a film, like a first rough cut of a movie.
8. I don't think actors should ever expect to get a role, because the disappointment is too great. You've got to think of things as an opportunity. An audition's an opportunity to have an audience.
9. I do believe, and I will always believe, that Shakespeare on film is really something that should be tried more often because it is an opportunity to take the humanity that Shakespeare writes into characters and express it.
10. I like, for instance, "Serpico." I enjoyed playing Serpico because Frank Serpico was there. He existed. He was a real life person and I could - I could embody him. I could, you know, I could work and get to know him and have him help me with the text, the script and become him. It's almost like a painter having a model to become.
11. I'm an actor, not a star. Stars are people who live in Hollywood and have heart-shaped swimming pools.
12. I'm so shy now I wear sunglasses everywhere I go.
13. I spent lunchtime in a grave during the filming of "Bloody Mama." When you're younger, you feel that's what you need to do to help you stay in character. When you get older, you become more confident and less intense about it - and you can achieve the same effect.
14. I've never cared for guns. In fact, when I did "Scent of a Woman" I had to learn how to assemble one.
15. I've often said there's two kinds of actors. There's a more gregarious type and the shy type.
16. I've always been in the theater. I've always gone to it. That's been my way to cope. Early on in my career, I remember running - fleeing - to the theater as a way of coping with all the meshugaas that was going on for me.
17. It would be hard to play a character you don't like - for me anyway - or can't find something in them to like.
18. It surprised me, the feeling I got when I won the Oscar for "Scent of a Woman." It was a new feeling. I'd never felt it. I don't see my Oscar much now. But when I first got it, there was a feeling for weeks afterward that I guess is akin to winning a gold medal in the Olympics.
19. In America most everybody who's Italian is half Italian. Except me. I'm all Italian. I'm mostly Sicilian, and I have a little bit of Neapolitan in me. You get your full dose with me.
20. Money makes your life easier. If you're lucky to have it, you're lucky.
21. It's never really that much fun for me to do movies anyway, because you - you know, you have to get up very early in the morning and you have to go in and you spend a lot of time waiting around.
22. Jamie Foxx does a good rendition of me. It's a real gift, mimicry of that kind, the tonal thing. It's sort of like having a talent for playing an instrument.
23. Shakespeare's plays are more violent than "Scarface."
24. My dad was in the army. World War II. He got his college education from the army. After World War II he became an insurance salesman. Really, I didn't know my dad very well. He and my mother split up after the war. I was raised by my maternal grandmother and grandfather, and by my mother.
25. My first language was shy. It's only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness.
26. That's where humor lives for me. In the body. The Steve Martin kind of stuff or Jim Carrey, that's what I like. I've always felt that's what I would like to do.
27. The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful - my personal life suffers.
28. The hardest thing about being famous is that people are always nice to you. You're in a conversation and everybody's agreeing with what you're saying - even if you say something totally crazy. You need people who can tell you what you don't want to hear.
29. The problem with me is, I guess, the way I express myself, you have to be with me 50 years before you can get a sense of what I'm talking about.
30. The truth is, you know, we need our anodynes. You know that word, anodynes? We need that in life some times. A good warm bath can be one for you, or a whatever.
31. Vanity is my favorite sin.
32. There are a lot of roles in Shakespeare, basically. If I feel that the script is a movie, I would be interested in doing any role of Shakespeare's.
33. When I was doing "Scarface," I remember being in love at that time. One of the few times in my life. And I was so glad it was at that time. I would come home and she would tell me about her life that day and all her problems and I remember saying to her, look, you really got me through this picture because I would shed everything when I came home.
34. When I was a younger actor, I would try to keep it serious all day. But I have found, later on, that the lighter I am about things when I'm going to do a big scene that's dramatic and takes a lot out of you, the better off I am when I come to it.
35. When I was younger, I would go to auditions to have the opportunity to audition, which would mean another chance to get up there and try out my stuff, or try out what I learned and see how it worked with an audience, because where are you gonna get an audience?
36. When my mother got home from work, she would take me to the movies. It was her way of getting out, and she would take me with her. I'd go home and act all the parts. It had a tremendous influence on my becoming an actor.
37. You need some insecurity if you're an actor. It keeps the pot boiling. I haven't yet started to think about retiring. I was shocked when I heard about Paul Newman retiring at age 82. Most actors just fade away like old soldiers.
38. The most popular movie I've ever made is Scarface, all over the world. It's amazing to me. It's wonderful. We sometimes forget that it was Oliver Stone who wrote it. He is a political creature, and I think that is an undercurrent in the movie. And the combination of him and Brian De Palma made for this kind of fusion or explosion. It worked.
39. (on Robert DeNiro) We know each other's minds. We have shared some things that are personal to us, such as our roles. I know Bobby through his roles. But, then, I don't think we actually talked about the actual work of actors.
40. When we were starting out, (Robert De Niro), me and Hoffman were always sort of mixed up. People mistook us for each other.
41. Every time I'd run into Marlon Brando on set, my face would turn red and I'd start laughing. Have you any idea what it was like to do a scene with Brando? I sat in movie houses when I was a kid watching Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Viva Zapata!" Now I'm playing a scene with him. He's God, man!
42. An actor with too much money will usually find a way to get rid of it.
43. (Presenting the Lifetime of Achievement Award to director Sidney Lumet at the 2005 Academy Awards) As an old village poet put it to me in the 1960s. (If you dig it, it's yours). I dug Sidney Lumet back then. I dig him now because what he had to give, I took and made it mine. I'm forever grateful along with all the other actors and writers who have benefited from Sidney's genius.
44. (on The Godfather: Part III (1990)) You know what the problem with that film is? The real problem? Nobody wants to see Michael have retribution and feel guilty. That's not who he is. In the other scripts, in Michael's mind he is avenging his family and saving them. Michael never thinks of himself as a gangster - not as a child, not while he is one and not afterward. That is not the image he has of himself. He's not a part of the Goodfellas (1990) thing. Michael has this code; he lives by something that makes audiences respond. But once he goes away from that and starts crying over coffins, making confessions and feeling remorse, it isn't right. I applaud (Francis Ford Coppola) for trying to get to that, but Michael is so frozen in that image. There is in him a deep feeling of having betrayed his mother by killing his brother. That was a mistake. And we are ruled by these mistakes in life as time goes on. He was wrong. Like in Scarface (1983) when Tony kills Manny - that is wrong, and he pays for it. And in his way, Michael pays for it.
45. I'm constantly striving to break through to something new. You try to maintain a neutral approach to your work, and not be too hard on yourself.
46. But I was just lucky. People like (Francis Ford Coppola) were making films, and I got opportunities.
47. (When asked what romantic character he would want to be) (Pablo Picasso). I love the idea that he used to just sit and stare at an empty canvas for as long as 12 hours straight. If you keep staring at the canvas, the hope is that something or someone will come to mind. That's a romantic notion in itself.
48. I'm single and I don't particularly like it. I'm certainly the kind of person who prefers…it…it…It's good to have someone in your life that you're going through this thing with. It's good. That's a thing in life that I aspire to.
49. (on his friend and Heat (1995) co-star Robert De Niro) I remember seeing things that Bob had done in the past, and very recent times, and have been taken with the work so much that I even wrote (him) about it. Some of his great work - which is plenty - I was staggered by the subtlety of his portrayal and the warmth, which is what we often talk about with Bob among us actors who admire him so. It is the warmth and the way he approaches things.
50. (On whether or not acting is still challenging for him) The challenge? It's always a challenge of a sort. It's a challenge to get up and go and leave your family and go out there in all different parts of the world and do a picture and try to make it come alive…You're still challenged for that. I mean, it's the same story. It's just not changed. It seems to be the same thing it always was. It's this effort. If you get excited about a thing then things are generally a little easier. If you get enthusiastic and you want to do something and you feel you are into something then things start to come. But usually to find the enthusiasm and the appetite, that's the challenge.
51. One hopes to find out about the (movie) you're in while you're doing it, not several years later, which is usually when I find out. I'm like: "Wow, that was a dud! I didn't know, nobody would tell me!" I've done things for certain reasons, but it (comes from) thinking on your feet…Sometimes actors do things not because we have a great desire (for it), but because it's work, and I'm starting to wonder about that.
52. (on whether acting and his roles reflected who he is) In the end you're just playing a role.
53. I can't say I've been sober though. I don't like that word. What does it mean? "Sober! He's very sober".
54. I don't understand the hatred and fear of gays and bisexuals and lesbians…it's a concept I honestly cannot grasp. To me, it's not who you love…a man, a woman, what have you…it's the fact THAT you love. That is all that truly matters.
55. (on doing Scarecrow (1973) with Gene Hackman) Gene and I are two people not very similar. We had to play a very close relationship, but I just didn't think we were as connected as we should have been. We seemed apart. We didn't have altercations, we didn't hate each other. But we didn't communicate, didn't think in the same terms. Gene and I were thrown together, but under ordinary circumstances we'd never cavort or be friends. It was two worlds - but I have to say that I was as much responsible as he was.
56. There are times when I have a temperament. Yes, my temperament is there…but I hope I'm gentle. Yes, I think I am.
57. (quoted by Robert Osborne in "Academy Awards 1974 Oscar Annual") I couldn't exist just doing films. But on the other hand, there is the fame that comes with it, and the money. My problem is I still want to play Hamlet in some little theater somewhere, and time is running out.
58. (On why his film Chinese Coffee (2000) has yet to be released) "Coffee" is done, I got a couple of little important things to do about it, like little tiny things, and THEN I will unveil it. It's not a movie that you put in a…it needs a certain environment to flourish in. It's just the way it is. It doesn't make it better or worse than the picture. It's just the way it is, the nature of it.
59. People always said that time, the '70s, was about pretty boys, and then I came along!
60. I like what Norman Mailer said about alcohol: "Drink has killed a lot of my brain cells and I think I would have been a better writer without it, but it would be one less way to relax."
61. I guess you find yourself repeating certain motifs. But at the heart of it all, I'm an actor, always looking for a role. And then you try to make things fresh.
62. That's right! That's right! We know the best feeling in the world is the one between the second and third martini. That was my deal. I just enjoyed who I became when I was drinking, so that was something hard to break. I became much quieter, and funny. I must say, that kind of thing came out.
63. I've always believed, I always hoped…I don't think I know what I'm saying when I say this, but I was hoping that we could have a museum where we had films. That there was a museum where films were, like, hung. Like paintings. And you went to the museum. I got the movie The Local Stigmatic (1990) that I made. It's 52 minutes and everybody has seen it now because I've personally got them in to see it, to show it to them and I paid them for it, too. But it's over at the Museum of Modern Art and I love saying…This is really pretentious of me, this is what I really like. I love to say: "Oh, it's at the Museum of Modern Art. Isn't that great?" "Have you released it?" "No, I never did." I love saying that, you know? "How come?" "Because I didn't feel like it." It's fun to do that.
64. I hope the perception is that I'm an actor, I never intended to be a movie star.
65. When I try to explain anything I always end up trying to be right usually, but not truthful necessarily. Trying to give the right answer or what I think is the right answer. It's a human instinct. You try to be as clever as you can be. You're trying to come off like you really know what the hell's going on, when you don't!
What do you think of Al Pacino's quotes?
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