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‘Nobody Wanted Al Pacino’: Godfather Star Diane Keaton Says Pacino’s Disastrous Michael Corleone Audition Made Everyone Avoid Him Like the Plague

We all know the Academy Award-winning actor Al Pacino, is known for many roles he did, including that of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Now when you see the movie, it would be hard to imagine any other actor portraying the character. But you would be surprised to know that he was not the first choice to play the role of the youngest son of The Godfather.

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Al Pacino as Michael Corleone

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Diane Keaton said that nobody wanted Al Pacino to play Michael Corleone. She said that he was ruled out after his first audition for the role because no one wanted to see him in the movie. Diane Keaton played the role of Kay Adams-Corleone, the wife of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. She said, “No one wanted Al Pacino. They didn’t want him to play that part, and I had already been cast.” 

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Al Pacino as Michael Corleone

Considering that the movie and the actor received praise for the story and the work done, it would be hard to imagine that Al Pacino was not the first choice for the role. The character development portrayed by Al Pacino cannot be understated. Michael, who wanted to be a war hero instead of joining and leading his family business, ends up taking it over and becomes the mob boss Michael Corleone.

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However, this is not the first time Diane Keate has mentioned this. The actress has mentioned this several times in the past. During her appearance on the Graham Norton Show back in 2017, she said the same thing while talking about the movie.  

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Not just that, Al Pacino himself has said during an interview with USA Today that no one wanted him in the movie. But the director of the film, Francis Ford Coppola insisted on him playing the role.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather baptism scene
Al Pacino

During his interview, he said that earlier Coppola saw him in a play and wanted him to act in one of his movies, about a college professor. Both spend a week together working on the film, which was eventually canceled. One year later the director called him and told him that he was directing The Godfather


Al Pacino says, “It was shocking.” Upon hearing this he says he thought that paramount is really smart to pick the right guy to direct a great movie like The Godfather.

Francis Ford Coppola Selected Pacino for the Role

He further says that after this Coppola asks him to play Michael Corleone’s part in the movie. Al Pacino while laughing says,” It was downhill after that because nobody else wanted me. Paramount didn’t want me.” 

Later in the same interview, Pacino says that it was a great struggle. He also said that Coppola believed in him and knew had made the right choice by giving him the character saying, “When a director is interested in you for a part, that means something.”

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Al Pacino

Upon being asked who he thought would be better for Michael Corleone than himself, he said, well pretty much anybody else. He also talked about how the role of Michael was too difficult and he wanted to portray the role of Sonny Corleone, but he is glad he did the part he was offered. 

The Godfather Franchise Becomes One of the Most Successful Movies

Many even believe that other than Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone and Robert De Nero as the younger Vito, Pacino was one of the most important actors in the cast and took the franchise to its success.

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The actor also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Even after facing huge criticism, Al Pacino never stopped becoming the man that he is today. He is considered one of the most important actors in cinema history. 

Just like The Godfather, Pacino was also criticized for his role as Tony Montana in Scarface. The film went on to be one of the biggest cult classic movies of all time. But no one knows if the role went to someone else, would the movie have been the same??

Source: GFR


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Written by Laxmi

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.