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Coppola discredits Pacino, De Niro and Nicholson

FrancisFordCoppola.jpgFrancis Ford Coppola has spoken out about the tired, old talents of Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino and claimed that they just aren't hungry for roles any more, and you know, he's right.

None of these stars are appearing in anything that matches their earlier career, and really there's nothing that they couldn't keep doing just because they are older. They've all gone mainstream.

Francis Ford Coppola's comments are pretty hard on the actors, and I think quite rightly. Of course it is their choice on what they want to do, and if they chose to do smaller roles and earn money then that's fine by me, but they can't retain that air of being the best of the best any more.

“I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come...

...Now Pacino is very rich, maybe because he never spends any money; he just puts it in his mattress...always wanted to do theatre. He will say, 'Oh, I was raised next to a furnace in New York and I'm never going to go to LA,' but they all live on the fat of the land...

...De Niro was deeply inspired by Zoetrope [his own studio American Zoetrope] and created an empire and is wealthy and powerful...

...Nicholson was when I met him and worked wit him he was always kind of a joker. He's got a little bit of a mean streak. He's intelligent, always wired in with the big boys and the big bosses of the studios...has money and influence and girls, and I think he's a little bit like Brando, except Brando went through some tough times...

...I don't know what any of them want any more. I don't know that they want the same things.”

When he talked through the The Daily Mail about Javier Bardem's desire to try new things in his acting and having a passion about him, he compared these three to him:

“I don't feel that kind of passion to do a role and be great coming from those guys because if it was there they would do it.”

Now I understand that the actors are old, it's their choice, and that they might just want to do easy roles and rest on the fame that their early career built, but his words are right.

There's no passion or desire from these once great actors any more, and they are just picking mainstream roles with good pay and sometimes something a little different to them.

Okay I will give a little on Robert De Niro. Of late he's had his passion project The Good Shepherd, and he's working on Frankie Machine, but those are the two examples that rise above the rest of the rather mediocre bunch of films on his schedule.

Jack Nicholson has a similar later career, however he has much, much less in the way of projects. The Departed (Filmstalker review) and The Pledge are the two that really stand out in recent years, and The Pledge is six years ago!

As for Al Pacino, well he is working more than Nicholson but his above the mark films are probably The Merchant of Venice, Insomnia in 2002 and then we're back to pre-2000.

Of course there's a big pot-kettle-black situation here too, Coppola's career has been quiet for some time, and he's not really churning out great passion projects. However, is isn't guilty of going off and making mainstream, cash earners either.

What do you think of these three, once hugely respected and ground breaking actors? Are they tired, old, and just not hungry for it any more and should they be showing a little more strength in their signing decisions?



I just think they've got nothing else to prove anymore and if what's keeping them in the loop is just doing more mainstream roles now then that is really up to them (as for one of Jack's recent brilliant performances, you forgot to mention About Schmidt Richard).

You're right, their choice of projects can be frustrating to us fans but what else can we do really, and at the end of the day acting is just like any other job, you come to work and then get paid for it, I suppose gone are the days that you still see such passion in most thespians, and when they were much younger surely the fiery passion was there.

Speaking of Javier Bardem, why was his name even mentioned in the same breath as these 3 actors? Isn't that quite an unfair comparison?

Saying that if Pacino, De Niro and Nicholson doesnt seem to care so much about what to give back to their audience, there's a lot of other brilliant actors there who needs to shine now and maybe share their glories if not take their rightful places.

First up he mentions Bardem because he was willing to try new things, to push himself, he has that drive and passion that Coppola refers to, maybe I didn't make that clear in there.

However on the point about this being just a job I have to disagree. These guys are loaded and don't need to work to keep eating.

When they do work it's their choice what scripts to take on, and their choices have been mainstream and in most cases poor.

I didn't forget to mention About Schmidt though as I class that in that mainstream list, not comparable to the great films he's capable of and done.

Remember though that Bardem is not on the same level as these three, so it would be understandable if Bardem was more than willing to push himself, try new things and exert more effort, and that's because he still needs to prove himself.

My next question is are you saying you'd rather not see these actors in any film if it's not as great as their previous roles? That if it's not a stretch to their acting ability at all why bother making movies?

Did Coppola forget to mention his own flesh and blood here, I mean, Nicolas Cage?

Well Nicolas Cage is below Javier Bardem in terms of standing in my eyes and not even worth mentioning.

Sure that Bardem isn't in the same league, but I think it is fair to say that he's showing them up in terms of projects, roles and his input into them, definitely stretching himself which they are just not doing.

Well I'd not say "I'd rather not see these actors in any film if it's not as great as their previous roles" - I would say that I'd rather not see them do mediocre, mainstream films and pick the roles they do a bit more carefully.

It's not hard to see them in the level of films such as Departed, Good Shepherd or even Insomnia.


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