You remember the funeral scene for Marlon, when they put him down? It was over for the evening, the sun was going down. So, naturally, I’m happy ’cause I get to go home and have some drinks. I was on the way to my camper, saying, well, I was pretty good today. I had no lines, no obligations, that was fine. Every day without lines is a good day. So I’m going back to my camper. And there, sitting on a tombstone, is Francis Ford Coppola, weeping like a baby. Profusely crying. And I went up to him and I said, Francis, what’s wrong? What happened? He says, “They won’t give me another shot.” Meaning, they wouldn’t allow him to film another setup. And I thought: OK. I guess I’m in a good film here. Because he had this kind of passion and there it is.
Have you rewatched the film recently?
No. I might have seen it two, three years ago. It’s the kind of movie when you start watching it, you keep watching it.
Do you get self-conscious about watching your own films?
No. I enjoy watching movies I’ve been in. Sometimes I show them. I say, “Hey, come this way! Here it is! Hey, it’s me, yes! Take a look at this!” Well, I don’t go that far. But I would if I could. I think “The Godfather” plays no matter what. But you’re surprised when you realize how many people never saw it.
You’re encountering people who are aware of “The Godfather” as a cultural phenomenon but haven’t actually watched it?
They’ve heard about it. You get that. “Oh, I heard — were you in that? That was a film, wasn’t it?” Yes. So was “Citizen Kane,” by the way — I was in that, too. Why not? They don’t know.
Is there anything about your performance that you wish you could change now?
Maybe I’ve been spared. It’s like when I once lost my wallet in my early 20s. I had no money, but what I had, I had in my wallet and I lost it. I said, Al, you simply have to forget this. Put it out of your mind, OK? You know what will happen to you if you keep thinking about it. So, what I do is, I don’t think about it.