Al Pacino In Scarface – Credit: Universal Pictures
“The rappers have kept the movie alive in popular culture. I give them many of the credit.”
Who would win in a mob war between Tony Montana from Scarface and Michael Corleone from The Godfather trilogy? We’ll never see that battle happen on film, and the controversy seems impossible to make a decision when even the person who played both immortal characters can’t pick a winner.During a press event in downtown L. a. to honour the Blu-ray release of Scarface, Al Pacino took center stage alongside his costars from the Brian De Palma-directed, Oliver Stone-written 1980s classic.
Pacino carved an enormous chunk of his long, esteemed acting career out of portraying mobsters, but none of these characters played it bigger than the loud, foul-mouthed, big-spending Cuban drug lord Montana. A cinematic icon, Montana’s quotes (like “Say hello to my little friend!”) are actually a part of the eternal pop-culture lexicon. Montana’s other best-known slogan could function an anthem to our readers: “First, you get the cash. Then you definitely get the ability. And whilst you get the power, you then get the women.”
Since we see eye to eye together with his famous creation, Pacino took a couple of minutes to speak all things Montana with AskMen.
Where doesThe Godfather feature on Jonathan Ross’ list of the most productive gangster movies of all time?
After creating two famous movie mobsters like Michael Corleone and Tony Montana, are you able to compare the 2 men? Were you ever serious about playing another mob leader when Michael was already so iconic?
When we were talking about remaking [Scarface], I remember going to peer the unique in La. I came out of that theatre thinking, “We could actually do this.” After I knew that Brian [DePalma] can be directing and Oliver [Stone] could be writing, I knew it will really work.And I never felt Michael would intrude on Tony because they were such distinctly drawn characters. Michael is so controlled and contained. Tony is such a lot bigger and more outwardly passionate.
The film is now looked on as a classic of its era and of the genre, however the movie wasn’t received well on the time. Were you aware it will survive the test of time?
When it came out, [Scarface] didn’t bomb. It didn’t do great, but it surely didn’t bomb. The critics hated it, though. I told the forged to not read the reviews.I remember the night of the primary screening in The big apple. I went out to eat at Sardi’s. Once I walked in, everything within the restaurant stopped — everyone looking at me. I ASSUMED I walked right into a room filled with sculptures. Liza Minnelli was eating dinner but hadn’t seen the film. Once I walked by, she said to me, “Al, what the hell did you do to those people?”
The only person who night to return as much as me was Eddie Murphy. He loved it.
But, obviously, the movie stood the test of time. Why do you think that we’re here talking about it and its Blu-ray release now?
I think anyone can identify with Tony. I ACTUALLY do. It’s the theme of aspiration, of desire. Dreams of constructing something of yourself. It’s the Robert Browning quote: “But a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”Also, the rappers have kept the movie alive in popular culture. I give them most of the credit.
The Godfather movies were obviously violent, but Scarface took the violence to a higher, almost exploitative level. Was that ever a priority for you?
No. Shakespeare’s plays are more violent than Scarface.