Diane Keaton still doesn’t know why she was cast in “The Godfather” more than a half-century after its release.
The “Annie Hall” actress asked director Francis Ford Coppola via Instagram Stories, “Why on Earth did you choose me for ‘The Godfather’?!”
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Coppola replied, “I chose you, because although you were to play the more straight/vanilla wife, there was something about you, deeper, funnier, and very interesting. (I was right).”
The auteur added that it was Keaton’s breakout performance in the musical “Hair” that in part convinced him to cast her.
“I was invited by Fred Astaire to accompany him to see ‘Hair’ which he couldn’t make ‘hide nor hair’ out of,” Coppola wrote. “You were in it, and I remember your beautiful singing voice.”
“The Godfather,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, spurred two sequels, concluding with 1990’s “The Godfather: Part III.” Keaton, who portrayed Michael Coreleone’s (Al Pacino) wife Kay in all three films, reflected on what she believed was a box office disappointment of the third installment.
“When I saw it way back, it was like ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ It didn’t seem to do that well and the reviews weren’t great,” Keaton recalled amid the 2022 recut. “But Francis restructured the beginning and the end and man, I’m telling you it worked.”
Keaton’s co-star Pacino also has admitted that he was at first taken aback by the level of fame he reached following “The Godfather” films after “winning the lottery” of being cast in the lead.
“How did they give him ‘The Godfather’?” Pacino said during a NYT interview reflecting on the movie’s anniversary. “It just seemed so outrageous. Here I am, talking to somebody who I think is flipped out. I said, ‘What train am I on? OK. Humor the guy.’ And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, OK, I’ll go along with this. I said, ‘Yes, Francis, good.’ You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say, ‘Yes! Of course! Yes!’ But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was given the part.”
He added, “‘The Godfather’ gave me a new identity that was hard for me to cope with. It’s a piece of work that I was so fortunate to be in. But it’s taken me a lifetime to accept it and move on. It’s not like I played Superman.”