Coppola discredits Pacino, De Niro and Nicholson
Francis 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.”
“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!
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?