For Al Pacino, who won an Oscar for “Scent of a Woman” and has been nominated seven other times, red carpets and awards shows are job requirements, but the man would just rather be acting.
“It is sort of, somewhat, uncomfortable,” Pacino says. “It depends. For some people, I imagine, it is not uncomfortable. You are in a show and your audience is out there and they enjoy watching, and you are sort of like, I am uncomfortable doing this interview. For instance I am uncomfortable in anything that does put me in the role of a character.
“I am never comfortable in any public experience unless I am doing a play or a character,” he continues. “Some people are more suited for public experiences which a lot of the people today have learned a technique on how to deal with. I come from another world. When I was younger it just wasn’t this way. Being a celebrity was not what it is today, it just wasn’t.”
Pacino portrays the title role in David Mamet‘s upcoming “Phil Spector” biopic for HBO, and was comfortable enough to sing to Zap2it, doing his rendition of Spector’s “To Know Him Is To Love Him.” It’s just being put on the spot, when not in character, that makes him uneasy.
He is not attending the Oscars this year, but plans to watch. “It’s hard not to watch if it’s around,” he says. “It is entertaining and fun to watch. I think tomorrow I will watch.” But he does not want to add to the horse race aspect by saying precisely whom he’s rooting for.
“I have been doing this for so long, of course I have my favorites,” Pacino says. “So many of these people are friends of mine. You never know. One thing, and I can say this from experience, that they will say being nominated is an honor, and especially in this world today and the way it is now and the way it has been built up and being nominated is a tremendous perk especially for people who audiences aren’t familiar with.”
Pressed if he’s rooting for Robert De Niro, nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for “Silver Linings Playbook,” Pacino says, “Of course I am. I have known him for my whole life. You understand it a certain way, it is not like it is a team sport. It is entertainment. No matter what, Bob is a great actor and a great icon.”