Ford Coppola Hates on Pacino, De Niro and Nicholson

Last month I pointed out to you everything Francis Ford Coppola said on his director’s commentary on the new release of Bram Stoker’s Dracula as he spoke about the state of movies and the ups-and-downs of the production. To say the least, it was interesting. Then we also know that Paramount is going to release Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse on DVD on November 20th. That pic depicts the making of Apocalypse Now and is described as thus:

An engrossing, unwavering look back at Francis Ford Coppola’s chaotic, catastrophe-plagued Vietnam production, Apocalypse Now. Filled with juicy gossip and a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the stressful world of moviemaking, the documentary mixes on-location home movies shot in the Philippines by Eleanor Coppola, the director’s wife, with revealing interviews with the cast and crew, shot 10 years later.

Devin Faraci over at CHUD talked to George Hickenlooper, who put the footage together into film form, about the movie being released on DVD and he wasn’t so positive: “I talked to Francis about it three years ago, and at the time he said he wasn’t ready for it to go out,” Hickenlooper said. “I think he’s uncomfortable with certain aspects of the film.”

I have never seen Hearts of Darkness, but trust me I am looking forward to checking it out now. However, this isn’t the last of the Ford Coppola news I have to bring you.

The NY Daily News has quoted a new interview with Coppola in the new GQ magazine in which the director reveals that he’s disappointed in Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino as they’ve gotten older — and richer.

Here’s a snippet:

“I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come,” Coppola tells GQ’s Nate Penn. “They were young and insecure. Now Pacino is very rich, maybe because he never spends any money; he just puts it in his mattress. De Niro was deeply inspired by (Coppola’s studio American) Zoetrope and created an empire and is wealthy and powerful.

“Nicholson was — when I met him and worked with 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 guys and the big bosses of the studios.

“I don’t know what any of them want anymore. I don’t know that they want the same things. Pacino always wanted to do theater … (He) will say, ‘Oh, I was raised next to a furnace in New York, and I’m never going to go to L.A.,’ but they all live off the fat of the land.”

As the article points out, Coppola hasn’t been focusing on anything and speaking of “living off the fat of the land” Rush & Molloy point out that all the director has been doing is working his vineyards in Belize and Guatemala, that is when he isn’t producing De Niro’s The Good Shepherd.

The director finally says, “You know, even in those days, after The Godfather, I didn’t feel that those actors were ready to say, ‘Let’s do something else really ambitious.’ A guy like (38-year-old “Before Night Falls” star) Javier Bardem is excited to do something good: ‘Let me do this’ or ‘I’ll put stuff in my mouth, change my appearance.’ 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.”

Hmmm, I don’t know if putting stuff in people’s mouth directly translates to ambition, but if that is the case good on yah Francis. Check out the complete “NY Daily News” report here, and if you need something lighter and a bit more entertaining how about GQ’s how about their quick 3 Lesson chat with Elizabeth Banks (40-Year-Old Virgin titled “The Funniest Tramp in the Room”. The chat is interesting, but the slideshow is even better, just click on the teaser shot of her below, and know it gets better than that… quickly.


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