Al Pacino stars in Danny Collins, which opens Friday in theaters nationwide. Jennifer Garner stars in the film, too, and during a recent interview with the Boston Herald, she discussed both the film and working with Al Pacino.
“I feel like, well, it’s a lot of work to be Al Pacino. And he very deftly neutralizes that factor when you meet him. He is generally good at putting people at ease,” Jennifer Garner explained. “It looks exhausting to me–not that he makes it look exhausting–but he puts energy into making sure everyone feels supported and confident and good and not freaked out by his Al Pacino-ness. He’s not afraid to ask questions or not know the answers. And he’s quiet and complements you.”
Danny Collins is inspired by a real-life letter the late John Lennon sent to an aspiring folksinger back in 1971. The letter didn’t arrive until more than three decades later. Al Pacino plays the lead role.
“Danny Collins is anyone taking stock of their own life, anyone looking for a second chance or a fourth chance,” Jennifer Garner explained. She plays the role of Al Pacino’s character’s daughter-in-law.
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She called Al Pacino “a treat,” and said he hosted weekly Saturday afternoon gatherings in his backyard.
“We would read through all the scenes coming up the next week and we’d improvise, talk, punch holes in it,” she said. “It felt very much like what you’d do in the theater. We talked about how we–Annette Bening, Cannavale, Christopher Plummer–were a bunch of theater geeks, although they all have way more experience than I do in that world.”
It definitely sounds like Jennifer Garner got as much–maybe even more–out of working with Al Pacino in Danny Collins than she did starring in the film herself.
Of course anyone in the film world would likely take a two-bit role in order to learn from someone like Pacino.