Al Pacino Reveals He Turned Down Han Solo Role in Star Wars: “I Gave Harrison Ford a Career”

Image: Universal Pictures

Al Pacino could have shot first (or, as Disney and George Lucas would later have it, at the same time). During a talk this week at The 92nd Street Y cultural and community center in Manhattan, New York, the 82-year-old actor, who is regarded by many as being one of the greatest ever, revealed that he was offered the role of one of Star Wars’ most popular characters, Han Solo, back in the day, but that he turned it down because he didn’t “understand it.” “I gave Harrison Ford a career,” Pacino claimed before going on to share some stories about his most popular movies, including Scarface and Heat, which seemingly included sniffing cocaine.

From a Variety report:

“Well, I turned down ‘Star Wars.’ When I first came up, I was the new kid on the block, you know what happens when you first become famous. It’s like, ‘Give it to Al.’ They’d give me Queen Elizabeth to play,” Pacino said. “They gave me a script called ‘Star Wars.’ … They offered me so much money. I don’t understand it. I read it. … So I said I couldn’t do it. I gave Harrison Ford a career.” […]

On “Scarface” — his most “gratifying” film, he said — Pacino recalled one of his many injuries.

“You can’t imagine what it was like to be there,” he said of the heavily armored shoots. “The smoke, everyday you have to put yourself in a trance. One day, we’re shooting, fighting — ‘Say hello to my little friend’ — I shoot thirty rounds, I get hit, the gun goes down, and I’m supposed to be wounded. I go to pick up the gun, and I put my hand on the barrel. My hand stuck to it, and I had to go to the hospital. I was out for two weeks.” (Covered in fake blood in the emergency room, the nurse mistook him for “some scumbag.”) […]

On “Heat,” he offered some candid advice to the Pacino fan: “Here’s the thing with ‘Heat’: I hope you see it again, audience. I was playing this cop, and I found a way in, but this is a detective who’s kind of wild. I thought he probably chipped cocaine. That will explain to you some of my, uh…,” he said, laughing. “The thing is, there was no cocaine sniffing in the film, but I was.”

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