DE NIRO: "I JUST FELT BRIAN WOULD BE THE BEST BECAUSE HE WOULD BE THE LEAST CONVENTIONAL"
In an article for its "Men Of The Year" cover story this month, GQ included a 16-minute video chat between Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in which the two actors recall discussing Scarface:
Robert De Niro: This is how I remember it, II could be wrong... We were talking about Scarface, and you were considering who to do it with, what director. And I was saying, you should really do it with Brian, of of the choices that you had. I don't... I thought I'd...[uttering a bit to indicate this is how he remembers it] and then I said if you don't do it, I'm going to do it, because I want, you know, I wanted to do it.
Al Pacino: Yeah, they were going to do Scarface, Marty and Bob. They hadn't... they didn't do it yet, they were playing with the idea.
De Niro: I was thinking the idea was, they would have done it.
Pacino: And then I know I was, when I saw Scarface in California, I said, call Marty Bregman. Who was the producer. And I said, I think this is a, this guy, Paul Muni, in this part, I said I think it was great. And I said, I would just like to do him, if I could [laughing]. And then he said, no, he didn't know Scarface. I said, "See the film, I think we can do it." I didn't know that Marty and Bob were interested in it, and...
De Niro: We were just talking, I think it was all loose. You know...
Pacino: When he got Lumet... Bregman and Lumet... it was Lumet's idea to do it Cuban.
De Niro: Ah.
Pacino: But then Marty and Lumet didn't quite agree on where the thing should go and how it should be done. And then Brian came in. They had a parting. And Brian came in. And then that was the... I think that was the thing that took it off. Because the way Brian saw it, and Oliver saw it, and Marty saw it, and I saw it, had this sort of, you know, this kind of... thing that was all... pretty much were opposite of each other, in certain areas. And that's when Scarface came about.
De Niro: I just thought, I think I remember, that I just felt Brian would be the best because he would be the least conventional of the choices of the other directors.
Pacino: [nodding] That's true.
De Niro: That was all. And I had worked with him, I knew him.
Pacino: Turned out that was very true.
De Niro: Yeah
Pacino: Because he did have his own way of doing it, which made it different, and it really did make that film. And so did Bregman, by the way. Marty had that feeling about it, too. Larger than life. Just that little step up.
Meanwhile, at 48hills, Joshua Rotter asks Martin Scorsese about his working relationship with De Niro. Scorsese replies:
Well, not counting when we knew each other on the Lower East Side when we were 16 years old and he wasn’t an actor and I wasn’t a filmmaker, I met him again when we were about 27 or 28.
Brian De Palma introduced us because he had worked with him on Hi, Mom! and De Niro actually knew many of the characters that I knew. All the people I grew up with, he knew them and he knew how they were reflected in Mean Streets, for example.
So pretty much he’s the only person left around who knows where I come from and who I knew, so that was the beginning of the bond of trust.
On a final note, check out the headline on this review:
The Irishman: Say Goodbye To The Bad Guys
Baylor Thornton, AC Observer