Diane Keaton says ‘no one’ wanted Al Pacino to be cast in ‘The Godfather’

Diane Keaton says ‘no one’ wanted Al Pacino to be cast in ‘The Godfather’

Diane Keaton revealed that nobody really wanted Al Pacino to be cast in the iconic 1972 film The Godfather.

The 76-year-old actress said Pacino, who later received an Oscar nomination for his role, was far from the casting directors’ first choice for the role of Michael Corleone in the hit gangster film.

“Nobody wanted Al Pacino. They didn’t want him to play that role and I was already cast,” Keaton told Entertainment Tonight.

Keaton, who played school teacher Kay Adams-Corleone in the film opposite Pacino, said it was “strange” that she was cast before the actor, since the film is based solely on his mobster character.

“I was cast in Godfather 1 before Al Pacino! Isn’t that weird?” said the Oscar winner. “What would ‘The Godfather’ have been without Al Pacino? It’s just one of those weird, unusual things in life.”

Diane Keaton said Pacino is far from being the casting directors' first choice for the role of Michael Corleone.Diane Keaton said Pacino is far from being the casting directors’ first choice for the role of Michael Corleone. Getty Images for NeueHouse

Keaton attended Pacino’s second audition, and the executives “eventually gave him the job.”

“Do you think so? After he auditioned before and they didn’t want him,” she said.

The hit film, which later became a trilogy, was based on Mario Puzo’s 1969 novel of the same name.

Keaton admitted it was "strange" She was cast before him because the film was based on his character.Keaton admitted it was “weird” that she was cast before Pacino because the film was based on his character. CBS via Getty Images

And although the novel topped all bestseller lists, Keaton admitted she hadn’t read it before auditioning for the film.

“I think the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me…is that I got cast in ‘The Godfather’ and didn’t even read it. I didn’t know anything,” Keaton told People.

“I just walked around and auditioned. I think that was amazing to me. And then I kind of had to read the book.”

Dianne Keaton said she was present at Pacino's second audition when he got the job.Dianne Keaton said she was present at Pacino’s second audition when he got the job. NGRE / BACKGRID

“I think about how lucky I am. That’s what I think. And the way I think about things like I auditioned for The Godfather, never read The Godfather or didn’t care about The Godfather or anything because I was just auditioning. I had to work,” she explained.

“So I was there and he let me come back and then he cast me and then Al Pacino.”