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Al Pacino Hardcover – August 29, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Journalist Grobel, who literally wrote the book on interviewing (The Art of the Interview), puts his talent on full display in this compilation of interviews conducted with Al Pacino over 25 years, giving the reader as much insight into interviewing style as into the legendary actor. Notoriously private, Pacino shares stories about his formative years, his preference for the theater over movies and how he handles criticism. Pacino's views on acting, punctuated by stories of preparing for iconic roles like Tony Montana in Scarface, are fascinating, and his obvious passion for and dedication to acting in all its forms is inspiring. But it's the personal side of Pacino many readers will look for, and Grobel does a deft and graceful job eliciting tales from the actor's upbringing and notorious fear of romantic commitment. Although the two are friends, Grobel maintains a respectful distance in the book, allowing Pacino the slack to cut things short or-after a few attempts-decline to answer. Part of the book's draw, however, is witnessing the two become closer as the years go by, their conversations becoming less formal and more intimate, making for increasingly engaging and illuminating reading. Until the famously shy Pacino authorizes a proper, official biography, this title makes a fine substitute.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

These interviews of Pacino conducted by Grobel and spanning the years 1979 to 2005 read more like old buddies conversing than formal discussion between aloof professionals, and in fact, Grobel and the notoriously aloof actor have became close friends. Still, even in what he claims was his first interview ever, Pacino seems, surprisingly, relaxed and open. Altogether, these are nine warts-and-all portraits of Pacino, full of surprising details about him and his life. For example, at one point Pacino laments that he is never given a comic role, despite his early experience writing and appearing in comedy reviews in the Village. Equally fascinating are moments when Pacino turns the tables on Grobel, answering questions with other questions that throw Grobel off balance and require him to be as on-his-toes as Pacino clearly is. Grobel and Pacino maintain a remarkable openness throughout, by the end creating the illusion that the reader has really gotten to know the man behind Serpico, Scarface, and Michael Corleone. Jack Helbig
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment; First edition. edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416912118
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416912118
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Five BIG Stars!! A fascinating and frank look at Al Pacino in an article and essays, but mostly through interviews with one of his most cherished friends. Lawrence Grobel is an award-winning author and longtime trusted Pacino associate. Even so, he is a probing, persistent journalist who asks the tough questions. In the foreword, Al "forgives" him for this book. The introduction reveals Alfredo James (Sonny) Pacino as I would have never imagined him. Although this book is totally Pacino-centric, frank questions fly both ways in the series of interviews covering a period of over 25 years. Pacino's questions reveal as much about himself and the depth of their friendship as his answers. Full of personal insights and professional tidbits that heretofore were unknown, unless you read the articles and interviews in a previously published form over the decades, this is one book that ALL Pacino fans will want to read. After all, Al Pacino is a private person who usually keeps it that way.

In this book, we learn the impact of Charlie Laughton, among others, on Pacino. The inside scoop on plays, movies, and roles that could have happened but didn't. His saddest professional experience. The best young actor he ever saw. We also learn the true meaning of 'the show must go on' as Al shows incredible inner resolve during the Broadway run of the play "American Buffalo". I couldn't have done it, but I understand why he did it and he was right! He carves out some protective space regarding his women, while acknowledging them. And again what he won't divulge about them says alot about his character. But there is much more that he will discuss and it makes this book worth every penny of it's cost. Not a lot of verbal fat herein, this book is trenchant and to the point.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is not a biography. Nor is it an autobiography. It's a collection of "interviews" conducted by a magazine writer who got his foot in the door with Pacino, because he was kind to Marlon Brando during an interview years ago. He and Pacino became buddies, so we don't get journalistic objectivity. But, we do get an idea of what it's like when a chum sits down with Al for a chat. It also serves as an introduction to the language of stage craft and movie making for those who aren't "in the biz."

Pacino is delightfully eccentric and is wrapped in the ambiguity of an artist who is reluctant to form an opinion that is not self-depreciating. He prefers to keep it loose and not go on record with anything that might paint him into a corner or otherwise tie him down to a statement or crimp a creative opportunity. So you learn that he loves everyone he's ever worked with...some more than others. His MO is to "go with the glow" and keep such an open mind that few, if any, absolute truths exist in a mind that fires off synapses like Tony Montana fires a gun. To say his thought process is not linear is an understatement. As a result, the ride through this book is bumpy, but fun...especially if you like Pacino in the first place. "Whoo-ah!"
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Format: Hardcover
Larry Grobel is the master of all interviewers. His book on Al Pacino gives an insight into one of

America's finest actors who is so private and removed from the public that, up until now, we have

known very little about him. The compilation of interviews are done over several periods of time

(usually a film between each interview)and Mr. Grobel's questions show a transformation and

growth in the actor as his career and life progress. Mr. Grobel has let the actor talk with his

guard "up" and his guard "down" and go at his own pace, and the reveal is one of intense depth and

an interesting look inside the life and career of Al Pacino. One of the most fascinating revelations

is hearing of his humor and vision of himself. One is particularly astonished to find the comedic

humor of the legendary actor because it is so very different from how we associate him through his films. The book makes you yearn to sit down and engage in a wonderful conversation with the author

and the actor and know it will be a treat and time well spent. In fact, by the time you finish reading the book, you will feel that you have become friends with both Mr. Grobel and Mr. Pacino. This is

definitely a five star read!
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent book in interview form which delves deep into the fascinating and complex psyche of one of the most accomplished and gifted actors in cinema history. Reknown journalist and writer Lawrence Grobel goes to where no other interviewer/reporter has gone before:deep into the mind and thought process of legendary film and stage actor extraordinaire Al Pacino. This fantastic and thorough book explains in great depth the complex and brilliant acting career of Al Pacino. If you love Pacino's work like I do you will love this book. Highly recommended and entertaining. Al is widely known not only for his remarkable work on film and in the theater but for his passion for his craft. He is passionate about acting and is a very serious actor but who would of thought that this dark and intense actor would have a sense of humor. Some of the answers that he gives to Lawrence Grobel are actually quite funny. He can be serious when he needs to be and quite amusing when he feels the need. Get this book and you will not be disappointed. He discusses in great detail his entire career from his humble beginnings when he was a homeless struggling actor to his defining status as an icon of American cinema.
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