Entertainment Movies Al Pacino Says He's 'Surprised' How Many People Still Haven't Seen 'The Godfather' 50 Years Later “They’ve heard about it. You get that. ‘Oh, I heard — were you in that? That was a film, wasn’t it?’” the actor said By Stephanie Wenger Stephanie Wenger Instagram Twitter Stephanie Wenger is a TV Writer/Reporter at PEOPLE. She joined the brand in 2021 as digital news writer, spanning across the site's verticals. She previously contributed to E! Online, HollywoodLife, Discover Los Angeles, Oscar.com and Hollywood.com. She appeared on air at AfterBuzz TV. She began her journalism career as an intern at Good Morning America and Access Hollywood. She graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor's in communications and received a Master's in journalism from the University of Southern California. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 9, 2022 02:55 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972). Photo: CBS via Getty Al Pacino is reflecting on how The Godfather became a cultural phenomenon since its release in 1972. The Oscar winner, 81, told The New York Times in a new interview that he is "deeply honored" by the attention and praise the film has received over the last 50 years. "It's a piece of work that I was so fortunate to be in. But it's taken me a lifetime to accept it and move on," he said. "It's not like I played Superman." Francis Ford Coppola to Re-Release The Godfather Part III with a Completely Different Ending The Scarface actor revealed he is "surprised" when people tell him that they haven't seen the iconic crime drama. He added, "They've heard about it. You get that. 'Oh, I heard — were you in that? That was a film, wasn't it?'" Pacino opened up about how taking on the role of Michael Corleone in the Francis Ford Coppola-directed film changed his life and career. Miles Teller Will Stop at Nothing to Make The Godfather in First Trailer for Upcoming Series The Offer "I'm here because I did The Godfather," he shared. "For an actor, that's like winning the lottery. When it comes right down to it, I had nothing to do with the film but play the part." "It's hard to explain in today's world — to explain who I was at that time and the bolt of lightning that it was," he added. "I felt like, all of a sudden, some veil was lifted and all eyes were on me. Of course, they were on others in the film. But The Godfather gave me a new identity that was hard for me to cope with." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. Pacino admitted that he has not watched the film in two or three years. He shared, "It's the kind of movie when you start watching it, you keep watching it." The Tony winner also recalled being on The Godfather set with more experienced actors including Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall. Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock Amy Adams Watched The Godfather for the First Time — and Now Has a Crush on Robert De Niro "They couldn't have been more comforting, all of them. I was young, I was unknown, and they were so comforting. There was a love there," he said. "They understood it, Brando especially. But the others, too." He added, "They were becoming those older brothers and advisers that they play in the film. Those kinds of emotions and colors in them came out, both in the performance but also in life. They mesh."