Al Pacino – The Reluctant Star

Al Pacino is a mystery. He is fire and ice at the same time. His attraction is animalistic, his looks frightening. From the ghetto of the Bronx in New York he has made it onto the big stage – from Broadway to Hollywood. As Michael Corleone in "The Godfather" he celebrated his big breakthrough at the beginning of the 70s – against much resistance, because apart from director Francis Coppola himself nobody wants him for the role. His realistic acting became the measure of all things overnight.

Whether as drug baron Tony Montana, New York cop Serpico, bank robber Sonny Wortzig or blind colonel Frank Slade: Pacino has been extremely changeable ever since, creating legendary screen heroes. His figures polarize, are narrow-minded and magnanimous, despicable and admirable, tyrannical and lovable at the same time. In doing so, he does not feel his way towards them, but becomes his roles. They are the subject of his life. His total devotion brings Al Pacino, among other things, a sure Cuban accent, temporary blindness and years of sleep problems. A life for his broken characters that breaks himself. Not only does he suffer from depression for a long time, but his inability to relate also gnaws at him.

Despite his early success in Hollywood, this glittering world of fame is not his at all. He is a shy star. Again and again he withdraws and draws new strength from the theatre. That's where it all began for him. That's where the magic lies for him. Only there does he feel the pure adrenalin, the dizzying height. 
But as much as he adores the theatre, he always lives in both worlds: on stage and in front of the camera. In Martin Scorsese's latest gangster epic "The Irishman" he slips into the role of the unscrupulous union leader Jimmy Hoffa. At almost 80 years of age, Pacino still embodies the paradox of power like no one else. It is a return to his own roots – the world of Michael Corleone.

Al Pacino – The story of a man with many faces. The story of an artist balancing on the tightrope and constantly threatening to fall. The story of a gifted actor but also of reluctant stars.

First broadcast: Saturday, 25th of April 2020, 22:10 on 3sat.

Length 58'
Year 2020
Genre documentary
Director Lukas Hoffmann
Boadcast ZDF / 3sat
Link Der Film in der Mediathek