After all these years, they are still a family.
The cast of “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II,” including Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Robert De Niro (young Vito), Diane Keaton (Kay), Talia Shire (Connie), James Caan (Sonny), Robert Duvall (Tom) and director Francis Ford Coppola reunited on Saturday at Radio City Music Hall to close out the Tribeca Film Festival and discuss the landmark films — and moderator Taylor Hackford rightfully called it a historic night.
Pacino, 77, recalled how he was afraid of taking on the role of Michael Corleone in the highly-praised flicks and noted he thought he would have had a better shot in the role of Sonny.
Even after Coppola finally got the studio and agreed to give Pacino the part, they continued to second-guess the decision throughout production. The star, who shined as Michael, said he even felt giggles and laughter as he read the lines.
“It was dizzying, the whole thing,” Pacino said of filming.
“Diane and I in that wedding thing … I mean we got so loaded after that wedding scene,” Pacino told the audience to laughter while Keaton — who made a special unannounced appearance at the event — shook her head “no.”
“A lot of chaos going on there,” Pacino said of the scene, which was filmed at night using faked daylight because they were behind schedule. “We got back, and we started drinking and we were just talking about ‘where do we go from here?’ ‘we’re done’ ‘it’s the worst film ever made,'” the “Dog Day Afternoon” star continued.
The cast members — some of whom Coppola said he hadn’t seen in years — recalled joking with the late Marlon Brando on set and the crazy antics that kept them close through the films.
Playing into the Italian stereotype, Coppola noted that food was a driving force for successful improvisation with the cast.
He called a “family dinner” between the cast during rehearsals “the key” to the film.
And from there it was history. Caan and Duvall were the go-to jokesters on set, and Duvall even recalled an iconic “mooning” contest between himself and Brando, who died in 2004.
Robert De Niro, the founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, remained…