It takes dedication to become one of the best actors of all time. We hope you enjoy these Al Pacino quotes about how having that dedication to his craft is what led him to his successful career that has spanned more than half a century, and is still going.
Actor, writer, director, producer, businessman, Al Pacino didn’t start out successful. In fact, in the early stages of his career, he often had to borrow bus money just to attend auditions.
However, his persistence and dedication never gave in, and eventually, he landed his big break off-Broadway in 1966. From there, he managed to get a few film roles which eventually led to the role of Michael Corleone in the Godfather, which made Al Pacino a household name.
Pacino would go on to star in hits like Scarface, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, Dog Day Afternoon, for which he won a BAFTA Award, and Scent of a Woman, for which he won an Academy Award. Now, at the age of 80, Pacino is still creating films, and will probably never stop.
Al Pacino quotes on acting
1. “The literal, basic thing of the stage is really like a magnet. It brings me back to earth.” — Al Pacino
2. “I always had this thing, when I was younger especially, I didn’t want to do movies that much. I found they took a lot out of you and they were exhausting for me in a lot of ways.” — Al Pacino
3. “The difference between the actor and the painter is that the actor would buy somebody a knish in order to have them watch him act.” — Al Pacino
4. “I’m constantly striving to break through to something new. You try to maintain a neutral approach to your work, and not be too hard on yourself.” — Al Pacino
5. “Sometimes the only way you can get an audience is at an audition.” — Al Pacino
6. “When you’re reading some of the great plays when you do what I call “taking up with a writer,” something happens.” — Al Pacino
7. “Playing a character is an illusion, and I feel that when you know too much about a person, possibly part of that illusion is disrupted.” — Al Pacino
8. “It wasn’t until I got older that I realized acting was something I could really do.” — Al Pacino
9. “Brando’s a giant on every level. When he acts it’s as if he landed from another planet. A planet where they produce great actors.” — Al Pacino
10. “The actor becomes an emotional athlete.” — Al Pacino
Al Pacino quotes about his acting career
11. “I don’t think actors should ever expect to get a role, because the disappointment is too great. You’ve got to think of things as an opportunity. An audition’s an opportunity to have an audience.” — Al Pacino
12. “The camera can film my face but until it captures my soul, you don’t have a movie.” — Al Pacino
13. “At this point in my career, I don’t have to deal with audition rejections. So I get my rejection from other things. My children can make me feel rejected. They can humble you pretty quick.” — Al Pacino
14. “Shakespeare’s plays are more violent than ‘Scarface.’” — Al Pacino
15. “You need some insecurity if you’re an actor. It keeps the pot boiling. I haven’t yet started to think about retiring. I was shocked when I heard about Paul Newman retiring at age 82. Most actors just fade away like old soldiers.” — Al Pacino
16. “When my mother got home from work, she would take me to the movies. It was her way of getting out, and she would take me with her. I’d go home and act all the parts. It had a tremendous influence on my becoming an actor.” — Al Pacino
17. “You tape a movie, like a radio show, and you have the narrator read all the stage directions. And then you go back like a few days later and then you listen to the movie. And it sort of plays in your mind like a film, like a first rough cut of a movie.” — Al Pacino
18. “There are a lot of roles in Shakespeare, basically. If I feel that the script is a movie, I would be interested in doing any role of Shakespeare’s.” — Al Pacino
19. “When I was a younger actor, I would try to keep it serious all day. But I have found, later on, that the lighter I am about things when I’m going to do a big scene that’s dramatic and takes a lot out of you, the better off I am when I come to it.” — Al Pacino
Al Pacino quotes on fame
20. “I’m an actor, not a star. Stars are people who live in Hollywood and have heart-shaped swimming pools.” — Al Pacino
21. “I hope the perception is that I’m an actor, I never intended to be a movie star.” — Al Pacino
22. “The hardest thing about being famous is that people are always nice to you. You’re in a conversation and everybody’s agreeing with what you’re saying – even if you say something totally crazy. You need people who can tell you what you don’t want to hear.” — Al Pacino
23. “Vanity is my favorite sin.” — Al Pacino
24. “I don’t need bodyguards. I’m from the South Bronx.” — Al Pacino
Al Pacino quotes about himself
25. “My dad was in the army. World War II. He got his college education from the army. After World War II he became an insurance salesman. Really, I didn’t know my dad very well. He and my mother split up after the war. I was raised by my maternal grandmother and grandfather, and by my mother.” — Al Pacino
26. “I’ve never cared for guns. In fact, when I did ‘Scent of a Woman’ I had to learn how to assemble one.” — Al Pacino
27. “When I was doing ‘Scarface,’ I remember being in love at that time. One of the few times in my life. And I was so glad it was at that time. I would come home and she would tell me about her life that day and all her problems and I remember saying to her, look, you really got me through this picture because I would shed everything when I came home.” — Al Pacino
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Scarface quotes from the iconic movie.
28. “Did you know I started out as a stand-up comic? People don’t believe me when I tell them. That’s how I saw myself, in comedy.” — Al Pacino
29. “In America, most everybody who’s Italian is half Italian. Except me. I’m all Italian. I’m mostly Sicilian, and I have a little bit of Neapolitan in me. You get your full dose with me.” — Al Pacino
30. “Explain to me what Italian-American culture is. We’ve been here for 100 years. Isn’t Italian-American culture American culture?” — Al Pacino
31. “Opinions I have about anything are in my personal life.” — Al Pacino
32. “I’m so shy now I wear sunglasses everywhere I go.” — Al Pacino
Al Pacino quotes about dedication and success
33. “I want to be a great actor someday, and I’ve decided there’s no use philosophizing; the only way is to work at my craft.” — Al Pacino
34. “On any given Sunday you’re gonna win or you’re gonna lose. The point is – can you win or lose like a man?” — Al Pacino
35. “That’s the way to live – around people who care. It may be a tough ride, but something is going to come out of it.” — Al Pacino
36. “It turned out that time doesn’t heal the wound, but in its so merciful way, blunts the edges ever so slightly.” — Al Pacino
37. “It surprised me, the feeling I got when I won the Oscar for ‘Scent of a Woman.’ It was a new feeling. I’d never felt it. I don’t see my Oscar much now. But when I first got it, there was a feeling for weeks afterward that I guess is akin to winning a gold medal in the Olympics.” — Al Pacino
38. “There is no happiness. There is only concentration.” — Al Pacino
39. “Our life is looking forward or looking back, that’s it. Where is the moment?” — Al Pacino
40. “All I am is what I’m going after.” — Al Pacino
41. “Forget the career, do the work. If you feel what you are doing is online and you’re going someplace and you have a vision and you stay with it, eventually things will happen.” — Al Pacino
More Al Pacino quotes
42. “It’s easy to fool the eye but it’s hard to fool the heart.” — Al Pacino
43. “They say we die twice – once when the last breath leaves our body and once when the last person we know says our name.” — Al Pacino
44. “I don’t understand the hatred and fear of gays and bisexuals and lesbians… it’s a concept I honestly cannot grasp. To me, it’s not who you love… a man, a woman, what have you… it’s the fact that you love. That is all that truly matters.” — Al Pacino
45. “Freedom, baby, is never having to say you’re sorry.” — Al Pacino
46. “My weaknesses… I wish I could come up with something. I’d probably have the same pause if you asked me what my strengths are. Maybe they’re the same thing.” — Al Pacino
47. “The problem with me is, I guess, the way I express myself, you have to be with me 50 years before you can get a sense of what I’m talking about.” — Al Pacino
48. “My first language was shy. It’s only by having been thrust into the limelight that I have learned to cope with my shyness.” — Al Pacino
49. “We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don’t care if it’s a walk in the park, a look out the window, a good bubble bath – whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head.” — Al Pacino
50. “You’ll never be alone if you’ve got a book.” — Al Pacino
How dedicated to your dreams are you?
Life is about never giving up. No matter how far away from success you think you are, if you give up you will never get there. But if you are dedicated and continuously take action, you will achieve your goals.
All it takes is baby steps. If you get 1% closer to your dreams every day, in 100 days you will be 100% closer.
Al Pacino never gave up on his dreams. His dedication has granted him a lifelong career that is still going strong, even at the age of 80, and a reputation as one of the greatest movie actors there has ever been.
Did you enjoy these Al Pacino quotes and sayings? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
January 21, 2021 7:00 AM EST