Al Pacino on Playing Phil Spector in HBO Film: I Didn't Try to Impersonate the Real Person
While it's common for actors to build interaction with real-life figures they'll portray in a movie or a TV show, Al Pacino didn't even try to meet Phil Spector whom he plays in an upcoming HBO movie. "I've talked to people about Phil who offered. I didn't particularly seek out who he was," he revealed at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Friday, January 4.
Explaining why he didn't feel the necessity to meet the real-life person, the veteran actor said, "It would have been meeting a different person. Now he's been convicted and he's in prison... This person I'm playing is the guy who was there before he was convicted." As for his approach to depict the character, he admitted, "I played him as what I believe David Mamet wrote and how I believed to interpret him."
While there's a picture of him standing next to Spector spreading on Internet, he claimed that he didn't know the music producer. "On the Internet there's a picture of me and Phil about 20 years ago. We're standing next to each other and somebody's taking our picture and we're both looking into the lens of the camera - I didn't even know him," he insisted. "I don't remember."
The 72-year-old thesp added, "I didn't know anything about him except that he was someone who was responsible for an awful lot of great music, and then this strange case. ... But it was what I read from Mamet about this particular character. So that's the extent of my knowledge about him."
In contrary, Pacino's co-star Helen Mirren did form a relationship with Spector's defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, whom she portrays in the telepic. "It's amazing to have someone available to you who knew those experiences, but we're not exactly replicating Linda's experiences," she gushed.
The British actress further noted that viewers should not expect for precise impersonation of Spector and Baden. "It's a strange amalgamation of imagination and reality," she described the TV movie.
"Phil Spector" will premiere on HBO in February. Directed and written by David Mamet, it focuses on Phil Spector in a 2003 trial where he was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting a struggling actress in his mansion.
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