When Jack Nicholson revealed the reason he turned down Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather | Hollywood

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is considered one of the best films ever made. It does seem hard to acknowledge that any actor would say no to an iconic role like Michael Corleone, but it was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars back then, Jack Nicholson, who did so. In a 2004 interview with BBC, the actor had admitted that he was offered the part but he turned it down for multiple reasons, one of them being he felt that the actor who would play the part should be Italian. (Also read: The Godfather star Al Pacino’s unconventional announcement of best picture goes viral)

Jack Nicholson turned down The Godfather, and the role was played by Al Pacino.
Jack Nicholson turned down The Godfather, and the role was played by Al Pacino.

What Al Pacino said

In the interview, he revealed he turned down both The Godfather and The Sting and said, “Yes, that’s true and I think I had enough business acumen I know by then to know that the both The Sting and the Godfather were going to be huge hits. At the same time, I happen to think That Last Detail and Chinatown are… to me they were the more interesting of the films.”

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He continued, “[The] Godfather was going to be a good film. I’d always wanted to work with Marlon [Brando], but I was asked to play the lead and, a) I felt it should be an Italian person and b) I didn’t have any scenes with Marlon in the script I read. And I thought, well, I’m liable only to get to work with Marlon once and let’s hope that it might be something where we really had to work together.”

More details

The Godfather was an American gangster epic film that revolved around the Corleone family which was held together by patriarch Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando). The film went on to become a massive commercial as well as critical success, winning Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay (for Mario Puzo and Coppola). Two sequels of the film were also made.

A film on the making of The Godfather is also in the works, titled Francis and the Godfather. Jake Gyllenhaal is set to star in the film directed by Barry Levinson.

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