Al Pacino says he can relate to Simon Axler, the lead character in his film `The Humbling’ – about an aging actor who worries he’s lost his craft and his appetite for acting.
That’s partly why he made the film. ”I thought I had a better chance of making a movie that was effective because it was about a world I understood,” the Oscar-winning actor said in a recent interview to promote the film.
Adapted from Philip Roth’s 2009 novel, ”The Humbling” was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) and co-stars Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig (“Frances Ha”).
At 74, Pacino says that at times he feels his age. ”I do feel differently. I don’t quite get up from this table the same way. I may want to but I don’t.”
Yet the actor says the similarities end there. Simon may be ready to give up acting but Pacino is not.
”Acting, especially if you’ve done it as long as I have,” he said, ”it becomes such a part of your nature you rarely ever think about quitting or anything like that.”
The star of such iconic films as ”The Godfather” trilogy and ”Scent of a Woman,” which won him his 1992 best actor Oscar, says he’s convinced there’s another big role ahead of him, but adding, ”I don’t know if it’s going to be in movies. … Acting, it can take on different forms.”
Pacino was scheduled to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra this weekend, doing Shakespeare and personal readings. ”That’s a variation on a thing that takes acting and it’s a little different,” he explained.
Pacino will return to Broadway this fall to appear in David Mamet’s latest work ”China Doll,” even if he won’t do the standard eight performances a week. ”I wouldn’t do eight performances if you paid me,” he said. ”It’s too much. I gave that up a long time ago.”
Television remains in Pacino’s acting future, as well.
The two-time Emmy winner (“You Don’t Know Jack,” ”Angels in America”) says he’s looking into an episodic series that could stream on a service like Netflix or Amazon about Napoleon’s final days on the Island of Saint Helena.
”I always found it was really interesting the last days, the last months of his life,” said Pacino. While he’s been offered a lot of different scripts, he said he’s ”never found the right vehicle” until he recently read ”one of those series types.”
He says the project is still in the ”talking stages” but that Michael Radford, who Pacino worked with on the film ”The Merchant of Venice,” is interested in directing.
The actor says maturing has also presented him with a new way to look at family, specifically how to raise his 14-year-old twins, Anton and Olivia, with actress and former girlfriend Beverly D’Angelo. Pacino, who also has a 25-year-old daughter with acting coach Jan Tarrant, says he has the younger children 50-percent of the time.
”My younger children I had when I was older and so that’s something that I’m involved in, very much,” he said. ”Life has so much variety that acting is just a part of it now. It used to be all of it. Now it’s a part of it.”
The actor says he’s fascinated how growing up with computers and the Internet have given his younger children a jump on their own creativity.
”My daughter showed me something the other day she did, just sort of in passing,” he says. ”She says, `Here Dad, look at what I made,’ and she made a video. Naturally it just had me laughing it was so funny, so interesting the way she made the shots too. She edited it, put it together, the whole thing.”
Does he see another generation of Pacino performers in the making? ”If I see there’s talent, which I see there is, oh I would love it,” Pacino said with a laugh. ”Who else is going to hire me when I get old?