25th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Six
What do you get when you pack dozens of reporters in a room full of hot camera lights? An Al Pacino press conference of course.
I actually worked with Al in the past. His best friend and acting coach, Charlie, needed a personal assistant when they were up in Toronto working on Sea of Love. Charlie and I spent a day going though plays that Al was thinking of doing after the shoot. He said that Al always tried to squeeze a play in between films and since Al’s new project Chinese Coffee was actually a filmed version of a play he did, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to find out why.
I was lucky enough to be the first question of the conference. Pacino said that he felt that film and stage acting used different acting “muscles” as film was very small and intimate and the acting on stage needed to be bigger. He said that doing stage work enabled him to explore different styles and writers than the scripts he received for film work. In answering my follow-up he also said that doing both film and stage was something that he recommended to younger actors as a way of keeping their edge.
The press conference for Dr. T and the Women was equally crowded. Let’s face it, despite the fact that he’s old enough to be a Space Cowboy, the women still drool over Richard Gere and the guys in the press pool still wanted to take a gander at Farrah Fawcett. Throw in a directing legend like Robert Altman and you’ve got a great recipe for a press conference. The premiere for that film also had its share of screaming, swooning fans.