Al Pacino honored as Rome film festival starts

Thu Oct 23, 2008 9:38am EDT
 
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By Silvia Aloisi

ROME (Reuters) - A lifetime achievement award for Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino kicked off the Rome film festival on Wednesday, bringing a Hollywood veteran to the movie showcase which this year has a markedly European flavor.

Pacino received the award as one of the great alumni of New York's Actors Studio -- the celebrated drama school where he and other actors like Robert De Niro, the late Paul Newman and Marilyn Monroe learned the ropes of the business.

He also took questions from members of the public -- a trademark feature of the Rome festival where audiences get to meet their favorite stars.

The 68-year-old, who comes from a family of Italian immigrants to America, was nominated for an Oscar eight times for films like "The Godfather," "Serpico" and "Dog Day Afternoon."

He won the golden statuette once, as best actor for his portrayal of a blind man in "Scent of a Woman" (1992).

Currently Pacino is on the big screen with "Righteous Kill," where he and De Niro play two veteran cops on the trail of a serial killer in a film that was panned by the critics.

"It's hard to put on a suit, and getting harder -- with shirt and tie," he joked at a press conference, saying he was thrilled about the award.

"You feel as though someone is giving you a party and you don't quite know what you did to deserve it," he added.   Continued...

 
<p>Al Pacino gestures on the red carpet as he arrives for his movie "Chinese Coffee" at Rome's Film Festival October 22, 2008. REUTERS/Dario Pignatelli</p>