So, Al Pacino is going to be playing King Lear.
It seems like a fitting role, and, as his producer says in our story, he’s ready for it.
But while he is admittedly one of the world’s best living actors and has played some classic parts, his recent work has been a little bit… how to put this delicately? Awful. Righteous Kill? 88 Minutes? Two For The Money?
So while we’ve plenty of respect for AP's acting credentials, and support the Bard-a-holic 100% in his plan, we humbly present six classic characters he shouldn’t even attempt at this stage of his career....
Reason he shouldn’t play it: This was the role that even Pacino’s old mucker Robert De Niro couldn’t crack. He’d only try to one-up the intensity and make the creature shouty/whispery.
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: With his creator dead, the monster fights back villagers bearing flaming torches with a hearty “Hoo-hah!”
Who should be cast instead: Mickey Rourke
Smaug, The Hobbit
Reason he shouldn’t play it: The dragon character from Tolkien’s tale needs a voice richer and less prone to cranky outbursts than Pacino’s. Plus he’d only go all method and insist on playing it “real”, strapping on a scale suit and tiny wings.
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: Smaug rises up from his gold pile to confront a terrified Bilbo. Pacino, “kicking ideas around” for the scene, adds the line, “Empathy was yesterday. Today, you're wasting my motherfucking time!”
Who should be cast instead: Ron Perlman
Reason he shouldn’t play it: While he can certainly whip up a scraggly beard, we frankly just don’t see Pacino as a man who survives living off his wits and the land.
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: Introducing Man Friday to his “little friend” – a branch he’s carved to look like a gun. Sad.
Who should be cast instead: Daniel Radcliffe
Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights
Reason he shouldn’t play it: While his occasionally wild temperament would be strangely fitting for the crazed Heathcliff, we’re just not sure he’d keep it under wraps when required.
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: Using only the force of his will, Pacino’s Heathcliff makes the ghostly Cathy take form again, before dragging her through the window and slapping her around.
Who should be cast instead: Johnny Depp
Winston Smith, 1984
Reason he shouldn’t play it: Let’s face it, Big Brother wouldn’t stand a chance against Pacino’s force of will. He’d end up running the place.
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: Attempting to torture and subdue Smith, his captors fit him with a mask filled with rats. Smith says: "You've got some great RATS. And I've got my head... all the way up it!" His captors look around, baffled.
Who should be cast instead: Jude Law
Mellors, Lady Chatterly’s Lover
Reason he shouldn’t play it: He can pull of a decent RADA English accent, but Pacino as a rough ‘n’ tumble Northern groundskeeper having his way with posh English totty? Can’t picture it. Don’t want to picture it. Just did picture it. Fetch the brain-soap!
Nightmare scene we can just imagine: Slipping between Lancastrian and Lower Manhattan, Pacino-as-Mellors tries his best line on Chatterley: “You've been in the sugar business for so long, you've forgotten the taste of real honey!”
Who should be cast instead: Paddy Considine