Michelle Pfeiffer found herself struggling to work with Al Pacino during the filming of Scarface, leading to tears and sleepless nights.
At only 25 years old, Pfeiffer landed one of the most iconic supporting roles in cinematic history in the 1983 crime-drama directed by Brian De Palma.
However, her anxiety while working with the Hollywood hall-of-famer became quite evident.
The movie follows the rise of Tony Montana (Pacino) and his friend Manny (played by Steven Bauer) as they build a drug empire in Miami.
While Scarface is renowned for its storyline, violence, and Pacino’s stellar performance, it was a nightmare for Pfeiffer.
The film is considered one of the best gangster dramas of all time, and Pacino’s memorable catchphrases are still popular today. However, the young Catwoman actress was terrified of her co-star.
During an episode of The Skinny Confidential podcast, Pfeiffer revealed that she cried herself to sleep almost every night on set, saying “it was obviously a huge deal for me.”
She also shared that Pacino originally wanted someone else for her role, which was understandable given that her only other significant acting gig at the time was on Grease 2.
Pfeiffer’s feelings were mixed when she was called back for a screen test, as she was happy to be out of her misery but also sad for another reason.
She felt she was being tortured and was scared to work with Pacino. Her biggest fear was that she was going to be bad. “I had such a lack of hope that I would ever get this part,” she said.
Despite her fears, Pfeiffer managed to do a good screen test, and that’s how she landed the role.
She recalled, “I was so chill. I mean, I just walked in and I did a really good screen test, and that’s how I got the part.”
When asked what exactly she was so scared of, Pfeiffer responded: “Would you be scared to work with Al Pacino?”
She was afraid of not meeting Pacino’s expectations and of not doing justice to the role.
It’s not uncommon for actors to feel nervous when working with legendary actors like Pacino, but it’s essential to remember that it’s all part of the learning process. As Pfeiffer herself has said, “You’ve got to push through those fears, and it’s worth it. It’s worth it on the other side.”