Legendary Oscar winner Al Pacino has no doubt left many fans in awe, but the actor is himself not immune to getting starstruck.
He had what would prove to be a prescient encounter.
“I met John Lennon once – it was great,” Pacino revealed to PEOPLE Wednesday at the N.Y.C. premiere of his new film, Danny Collins, about a washed-up musician who finds a long-lost note from none other than Lennon himself. “I’ll never forget that moment. You can’t say that about many people,” he added.
Picture this: “It was a typical New York day. He was walking with Yoko, I was walking alone, as usual,” Pacino, 74, quipped. “And there I am, walking, we pass each other. And I look at him, he smiled at me, I smiled at him. And we waved.”
“It was great,” the actor added. “Just in that smile, you could see that spirit right there.”
It was a high point for Pacino, but the star also opened up about surviving the lows.
“I haven’t been, at times in my life, grounded. I really haven’t,” he told reporters. “I’ve felt what they call the vicissitudes of fame. I have felt it and gone through it, the high and the lows. You keep looking for the middle.”
So how does he stay grounded?
“I don’t know, basket-weaving helps a lot,” he joked.
Still, Pacino says he tries to move forward without regrets. “None. I will tell you why. I don’t regret things because out of mistakes – and I’ve made plenty – but through those mistakes I learned, I met people, my life was changed a couple of times,” he told PEOPLE. “So mistakes aren’t quite mistakes.”
And as he approaches turning 75 – his birthday is next month – don’t expect the actor to slow down anytime soon.
“I don’t think of numbers. I have young children, too, which helps my life,” he said. “I have no sense of that. I never did.”
And while he claims that he’s “looking forward to a porch and a rocking chair” someday, “so far things keep pulling me back in” – much to the delight of fans everywhere.