Al Pacino, when all is said and done, will be remembered as one of the greatest actors to ever do it. The man has starred in timeless classics such as The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon and Heat, just to name a few. But Pacino has also starred in his fair share of, shall we say less-than-great cinematic efforts as well. This is something Pacino is well aware of and, what's rather remarkable is that he views starring in these bad movies as something of an acting challenge.

Between Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, both of which are likely Best Picture candidates at the Oscars, Al Pacino is having one heck of a year. During a recent interview, the legendary actor was asked about some of these lesser movies he's starred in during the last decade or so. Here's what Pacino had to say about it.

"You know what? I may be falling into a bad habit now. I think I'm starting to get a little perverse. I'm starting to want to do films that aren't really very good and try to make them better. And that's become my challenge."

That's certainly an interesting way to look at it. Al Pacino has starred in several notable duds in the 2000s such as Gigli, Manglehorn, the critically-maligned Hangman and Adam Sandler's Jack and Jill, just to name a few. It's not so much that Pacino was downright terrible in these roles. He was servicing the movies he was in, which happened to be bad. Speaking further on the topic, Pacino explained how the process goes.

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"I don't think I go in thinking it's not gonna be very good, but it's like Bob [Robert De Niro] said: Sometimes they offer you money to do something that's not adequate. And you talk yourself into it. And somewhere within you, you know that this thing is gonna be a lemon. But then, when it comes full circle, and you see it, you say, 'Oh, no. I'm gonna make this better.' And you spend a lot of time and you're doing all these things, and you say, 'If I can just get this to be a mediocre film,' and you get excited by that. It's an impulse that I've got to just put away now."

The last bit there is key. It sounds like Al Pacino is looking to put that part of his career behind him. In a way, this can almost be viewed as admirable. Looking at it from Pacino's point of view, he has so much faith in his ability as a performer that he feels he might be able to help lift up an entire project.

Whether or not that ever truly worked out in some of these lesser movies can be debated, but it does help to explain why such a truly iconic actor got stuck in such a rut. Next for Al Pacino will be a starring role in the new TV series Hunters, which is produced by Get Out director Jordan Peele and centers on a group of Nazi hunters led by Pacino. Meanwhile, The Irishman arrives on Netflix on November 27. This news comes to us via GQ.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott