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Imagine That: Who Once Left Al Pacino Starstruck?

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Jim Spellman/WireImage; Inset: Michael Putland/Getty

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.

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