the cinema

Al Pacino Likes to Star in Bad Films to Make Them ‘Mediocre’

An optimist. Photo: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

A look through Al Pacino’s recent filmography may result in a few head scratches and a subsequent Google-search spree of “Al Pacino net worth” (The Irishman is excluded from this narrative, of course), but the actor has a pretty amusing reason for gravitating toward stinkers as of late. Dare we even say that a new acting challenge for young thespians has been born! In a joint GQ interview with his best bud Robert De Niro, Pacino admitted that he enjoys gracing bad films with his presence for the sole purpose of seeing how much better they become with his acting chops attached. “You know what? I may be falling into a bad habit now. I think I’m starting to get a little perverse,” he explained. “I’m starting to want to do films that aren’t really very good and try to make them better. And that’s become my challenge.” And, obviously, being paid well helps:

I don’t think I go in thinking it’s not gonna be very good, but it’s like Bob said: Sometimes they offer you money to do something that’s not adequate. And you talk yourself into it. And somewhere within you, you know that this thing is gonna be a lemon. But then, when it comes full circle, and you see it, you say, “Oh, no. I’m gonna make this better.” And you spend a lot of time and you’re doing all these things, and you say, “If I can just get this to be a mediocre film,” and you get excited by that. It’s an impulse that I’ve got to just put away now.

And just like that, the Pacino Acting Challenge was born. You there, TikTok?

Al Pacino Likes to Star in Bad Films to Make Them ‘Mediocre’