BFI London Film Festival Guests: Al Pacino

Autographed drawing of actor Al Pacino

Al Pacino joined Robert DeNiro and director Martin Scorsese on Sunday 13 October at the Closing Night Gala screenings of THE IRISHMAN, an epic saga of organised crime in America, at both the Odeon Luxe in Leicester Square and the Embankment Garden Cinema. While it’s not the first time the bona fide acting legends have worked together it is, surprisingly, the first movie Al has done with Marty. He has known Robert since 1968, appearing together in a handful of memorable films, beginning with the second instalment of Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER trilogy in 1974.

THE IRISHMAN centres on Robert’s title character, a reminiscing geriatric union official and New York hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran and his involvement in the disappearance of powerful Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa played by Al.

Accolades have been frequent during Al’s five decade career. In a 2003 Channel 4 poll, British TV viewers voted him the greatest film star of all time. He is one of the few to win the triple crown of acting-a competitive Oscar, Emmy and Tony. His single Oscar win (from eight nominations) was for his portrayal of blind and medically retired Army Officer Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade in SCENT OF A WOMAN (1993). He also received the Best Actor BAFTA in 1976 for his roles as bank robber Sonny Wortzik in DOG DAY AFTERNOON and Michael Corleone, the crime family’s Don in THE GODFTHER PART II.

His two Emmys were for his portrayal of lawyer Roy Cohn in ANGELS IN AMERICA (2004) , which also won him a Golden Globe and Dr Jack Kevorkian in YOU DON’T KNOW JACK (2010) collecting a SAG Award as well. His double Tony wins were for his role as Bickham, a teenage drug addict in DOES A TIGER WEAR A NECKTIE (1969) and eight years later for the title role as a Vietnam soldier in THE BASIC TRAINING OF PAVLO HUMMEL. Al also received a Director’s Guild Award for the documentary LOOKING FOR RICHARD in 1997.

If critical response is any indication, his portrayal of Jimmy Hoffa will see additions to his trophy collection. The first was collected last night for Best Supporting Actor at the Hollywood Film Awards in Santa Monica.

Al signed for me as he was leaving the Corinthia Hotel in London on his way to the Gala screenings.

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