Robert De Niro ‘Motivated’ Al Pacino to Sign On for ‘Scarface’

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Robert De Niro

Al Pacino grabbed the opportunity to star in Brian De Palma’s Scarface remake because Robert De Niro was ready to pounce on the part if he declined.

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The violent 1983 mob movie, written by Oliver Stone, has become a Hollywood classic, but Pacino took his time mulling over the project, before a chat with De Niro spurred him on to star as drug kingpin Tony Montana.

The old pals shared the news in an interview with breakfast show Today after reuniting with their fellow The Godfather saga cast members for De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York on Saturday.

During the chat, the acting legends dismissed rumors suggesting they were rivals on the set of The Godfather: Part II.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and we were up for the same parts, but that’s what it (Hollywood) is, (it’s) not a rivalry,” De Niro explained, as Pacino chimed in, “We sort of grew up together.”

De Niro then recalled hearing about De Palmer’s plans for Scarface.

“I told him (Pacino), I remember… I said, ‘If you don’t do it, I’m gonna do it!’,” he said, prompting Pacino to confess, “I think that might have motivated me (to sign on).”

The two movie veterans didn’t share any scenes in The Godfather sequel, as the film featured two parallel storylines, with De Niro portraying a young Vito Corleone, the character made famous by Marlon Brando in the 1972 original, and Pacino reprising his role as his grown-up son and heir, Michael.

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