The 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.
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino (born April 25, 1940) is an American film and stage actor and director. He is most famed for playing mobsters including Tony Montana in Scarface and Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, though he has also appeared several times on the other side of the law — as a police officer, detective, and a lawyer. His role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman, won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992 after receiving seven previous Oscar nominations.
He made his feature film debut in the 1969 film Me, Natalie in a minor supporting role, before playing the leading role in the 1971 drama The Panic in Needle Park. Pacino made his major breakthrough when he was given the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather in 1972, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor were for Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross. Oscar nominations for Best Actor include The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, the court room drama... And Justice for All and Scent of a Woman.
As well as a career in film, he has also enjoyed a successful career on stage, picking up Tony Awards for Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. His love of Shakespeare caused him to direct his first film with Looking for Richard, a part documentary on the play Richard III. Pacino has received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including one from the American Film Institute. He is a method actor, taught mainly by Lee Strasberg and Charlie Laughton at the Actors Studio in New York.
Pacino has had three children, but has never married. He has tended to shy away from the limelight, instead focusing on his work as an actor.