Al Pacino on being a ‘Stand Up Guy’

Peek-a-boo! "Stand Up Guys" hits theaters on February 1.

“Stand Up Guys” finds Al Pacino playing an aging criminal released from prison after 28 years and taking stock of his life while trying to prove he’s still got some life in him. So it seems like a perfect time to check in on Pacino himself and see how he’s holding up. Here’s what we learned from our chat with the 72-year-old actor.

He has no plans for retirement:

“I don’t even know what that means, really. It’s all about retiring to what? What is retirement about? Sometimes I wonder, why am I doing this? And then sometimes I don’t think about that. I think it’s understanding what you’re capable of doing. If a role interests me, excites me or challenges me, then I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t try it. If the roles become far and fewer between, then that’s OK too, because then I’ll find other things to do. But there’s [directing] ‘Salome,’ doing ‘Looking for Richard,’ those things are sort of extensions of myself and my life. I could be doing that while I was retired, you know?”


He feels far from accomplished as a director, though:

“I feel that I’m doing the wrong thing. Sometimes when I do a movie and I’m sitting seeing a preview of the movie I’m thinking — because the film is some place else, usually in the editing room, miles away, and they’re bring it to the theater — I often think, I hope that somebody grabs hold of that film right now and recuts it and makes it good. (laughs) I’ve made about four or five of my own films. Only one has seen the light of day, but I do have other films I’ve made, with my own money. Spielberg once said to me, ‘Never put your own money in a movie.’ And he was right. But at the same time, it was fun to do and I’m glad I did it. And I’d do it again. I’m trying to put together this thing on Modigliani, and now I will either direct it or I’ll produce it or something, but it was my idea to do it. I’ve wanted to play it for a long time, but I’m too old to play Modigliani now.”

He admits he wasn’t always easy to direct:

“There’s no doubt that I’ve gotten easier to work with. There’s no doubt. They tell me that. (laughs) I think that when I was younger I was much more difficult. If I learned anything from directing, I learned what directors go through with actors. A certain amount of empathy is gotten out of that by doing it yourself.”

The joys of poker:

Throughout his career on stage and screen, Al Pacino has had one hobby that keeps him happy: holding a regular poker game. “What I like more about poker more than anything else is it’s a game. It’s for very low stakes, and there’s a friendliness in it,” Pacino says. “And I enjoy the guys that I get, the group, because a lot of them are old friends. I like that gathering. There’s something comforting about it. Sometimes I just lose track of the game. People confer, and sometimes things come out and people talk. And I enjoy that. And when I focus on it, like anything else when you focus on it, you forget everything else. So it’s very zen. It’s like meditation.”

And his “Stand Up Guys” director, Fisher Stevens, was a one-time fixture at those games. So how good was Stevens’ poker face? “Fisher wasn’t very good,” Pacino says with a grin. “But the good thing about Fisher was he thought he was, so we liked to encourage him. If he reads this I’m in trouble.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

  A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the…

National

Florida cat owners call 911 after Russian blue…

By Barbara ListonORLANDO Florida (Reuters) - Kush the cat was quarantined in central Florida after her owner called 911 over the weekend for help, saying…

Local

Times Square costumed characters under scrutiny

Costumed characters in Times Square are under scrutiny after a string of incidents involving Elmo, Woody, Mario and Spider-Man.

National

Justin Bieber gets two years probation for egg…

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop star Justin Bieber pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vandalism on Wednesday for pelting a neighbor's home with eggs and was…

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, July 9: 'The Bridge,'…

See Diane Kruger solve some mysteries in the second season premiere of "The Bridge."

Music

Springsteen 'Hunter of Invisible Game' film debuts, shows…

Bruce Springsteen can do whatever the hell he wants. He's at the point in his career where he doesn't need to prove anything to anybody,…

Movies

Interview: Ethan Hawke can finally talk about 'Boyhood'

"Boyhood" star Ethan Hawke talks about having to keep quiet about the film's 12 year making, and how director Richard Linklater likes to show minutiae.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

NFL

Geno Smith 'feels good' about Jets making Super…

It wasn't quite Joe Namath's Super Bowl guarantee, but Geno Smith's recent comments to the NFL Network will do for now. The Jets have been…

Style

Give it up for French fashion: Bastille Day

In honor of Bastille Day we round up some French-inspired wardrobe essentials.

Tech

Potato salad Kickstarter reaches over $70,000

All Zack Danger Brown wanted to do was make potato salad and find a few dollars for ingredients, as Metro mentioned earlier this week when…

Education

American teenagers are lagging behind when it comes…

American high schoolers have a hard time answering basic questions about bank accounts, saving money and credit cards. That's according to a new study by…

Style

Where lotion and art mingle: Kiehl's new Nolita…

Kiehl's celebrates its new Nolita boutique.