Keanu Reeves’ acting career may have skyrocketed with The Matrix, but it did not start there. He had done a lot of movies before, with Speed being a massive hit. He worked with Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate and Taylor Hackford had to try to convince Pacino three times for him to take up that role.
His role as the titular character in The Godfather got him so much fame and somewhat framed his career. While his film with Reeves did not get as much recognition, critics did focus on Al Pacino’s acting and how he had very charismatically brought his character to life. However, Reeves almost missed out on his chance of working with the actor.
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Al Pacino Refused To Do The Devil’s Advocate With Keanu Reeves
Taylor Hackford was very confident about wanting Al Pacino in his movie as John Milton. Keanu Reeves had refused to be in the Speed sequel and was ready to star in The Devil’s Advocate as Kevin Lomax. The gist of the movie had been simple yet interesting. The supernatural drama followed Lomax in a law firm working under Milton. The firm’s success and his boss’ success make Reeves’ character wonder if Pacino’s character is just an ordinary lawyer or the actual Devil in disguise.
“Suddenly it became a challenge,” the actor stated. “[But] you want a challenge in this business, you want to see if you can reach what you’re going for. As Lee Strasberg used to say, ‘Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what is heaven for?”
Hackford had to keep altering the script because the Scarface actor kept rejecting the movie. Pacino had apparently said no to taking up the part three times. He did not believe the role fit him so well and the first time the script came to him, it had been incomplete. So after a lot of work and convincing, it had finally been deemed good enough for the actor to say yes to the role.
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Keanu Reeves Loved Working With Al Pacino
Keanu Reeves’s experience working with Al Pacino had been delightful. He got to learn a lot and his acting mesmerized Reeves.
“I knew by working with [Mr. Pacino] I could only raise my game, so to speak. We work in totally different ways but our relationship was, for me anyway, fantastic. I had some of the best times of my life with him.”
While the movie did not gain as much recognition, both actors got a lot of praise for their acting. It had been an enlightening experience for both of them and the movie became a hidden gem for the audience.
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Source: New York Daily News