American acting legend Al Pacino has appeared in multiple definitive cinematic masterpieces of the 20th century, ranging from Francis Ford Coppola’s majestic opus The Godfather to Brian De Palma’s cult classic Scarface. If Al Pacino’s fans were asked to name their favourite performance of his, they would probably spend hours trying to come up with a conclusive answer to the question.
While most of the answers would probably point to the timeless gems mentioned above, it is understandable if some cite his breakthrough performance as an addict in The Panic in Needle Park. However, there are some hardcore Al Pacino fans who believe otherwise and as it turns out, the iconic actor actually agrees with them.
When it was first announced that Al Pacino would appear in an Adam Sandler film, many failed to comprehend why a star of his stature would make such a terrible career decision. To Al Pacino’s credit, he did manage to win some people over with his fantastic performance in the 2011 Dennis Dugan comedy Jack and Jill.
“Jack and Jill was the one that really changed everything,” Pacino explained. “It was the type of film I always wanted to make. I had always been typecast into these complex, mysterious and challenging roles. Adam really took a chance on me and gave me the belief and self-confidence to, not only play myself in a movie, but also be attracted to Adam Sandler in a dress.”
A lot of people on the internet still maintain that this should have been the performance that earned him another Oscar. Pacino appears as himself while Adam Sandler tries really hard to woo him in order to get him to act in a Dunkin’ Donuts commercial. At the time, Pacino confessed: “I may be falling into a bad habit now. I think I’m starting to get a little perverse. I’m starting to want to do films that aren’t really very good and try to make them better. And that’s become my challenge”
In later years, Pacino called it his “long-held dream” to act alongside Adam Sandler. He said, “My entire career, all I’ve ever wanted was to break into the gross-out comedy genre but no one was willing to give me a break. Since Adam offered me the role in Jack and Jill, my career has literally not been the same.”
When he was asked about the critical and commercial failure of Jack and Jill, Pacino responded: “I think I really changed people’s perception of me. Jack and Jill has made a huge impact on my legacy… Adam and I, or Jill as I still call him, had great chemistry together. Real raw, animalistic, sexual chemistry. None of that Michelle Pfeiffer bullshit.”