Al Pacino talks about why he didn't play the role of Benjamin Willard in the acclaimed movie Apocalypse Now.
Al Pacino is one of those actors who left major roles on the table which went on to earn other actors Oscar nods and allowed them to become relevant. Out of several roles he left, just go through some of the characters he rejected and they will leave you baffled. 'Beverly Hills Cop', 'Born on The Fourth of July', 'Kramer vs. Kramer', 'Star Wars', 'Taxi Driver' and 'The Usual Suspects' were all the movies where Al Pacino was offered the lead role, and he left all of them.
Out of all those iconic roles he portrayed over the years one of those characters we wished he didn’t pass on was 'Apocalypse Now'. 'Benjamin Willard' was the character offered to the actor who worked with Francis Ford Coppola in the Godfather trilogy but decided not to be involved. The director later hired Martin Sheen for the role, and it was one of the most notable characters he ever played.
Watch: The 40th anniversary cut for Apocalypse Now releasing this year
“I just wasn’t ready to do it. I was at a certain point in my life and not in the right space for going away and doing a movie like that. I remember Coppola saying at the time, ‘Pacino won’t do a film unless you do it at his house.’ I said, ‘Yes, come over to my place. We can do Apocalypse Now here. Look, we’ll get somewhere with it.”
Watch: The Irishman coming to Netflix this fall starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino
The film was not exactly easy going, and we now know many stories where the production needed to be shut down because of complications during the filming. Marlon Brando was famously overweight when he first came to film his scenes, and the director stopped production because he couldn’t get the film made.
The Irishman is scheduled for a release on 27 November when the movie will be made available for streaming on Netflix, and the film will also see a theatrical release on 8 November, three weeks before the film makes its streaming bow.