Diane Keaton says 'nobody' wanted Al Pacino cast in 'The Godfather'

diane keaton the godfather
Diane Keaton had no idea what she was auditioning for when she showed up to audition for "The Godfather."United Archives / Getty
  • Diane Keaton said "nobody" wanted Al Pacino cast as Michael Corleone in "The Godfather."

  • The actress revealed that she was cast before he was in an interview with ET Online.

  • She found it "weird" that she got the role before the film's star.

Diane Keaton said she was cast before Al Pacino in the 1972 classic gangster flick "The Godfather."

The actress said Pacino was not the first choice to star as Michael Corleone in the Francis Ford Coppola film. "Nobody wanted Al Pacino. They didn't want him to play that part, and I had already been cast," Keaton told ET's Nischelle Turner in an interview promoting her upcoming movie "Mack & Rita."

Keaton found it "weird" that the film was not originally planned around the actor who eventually embodied the role of the mafia patriarch.

"I had been cast before Al Pacino in 'Godfather 1!' Is this not weird?" said Keaton.

Al Pacino in "The Godfather II"
Pacino also earned an Oscar nod for "The Godfather: Part II."CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

"What would 'The Godfather' have been without Al Pacino?" she continued. "It's just one of those weird, unusual things in life."

Keaton said she was present for Pacino's second audition when producers finally "gave him the job."

"Do you believe that? After he had auditioned before and they didn't want him," she added.

Pacino ultimately earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in 1973 for the role. Keaton played Kay Adams, a docile teacher who falls for Pacino's Michael before realizing that he is doomed to repeat the lethal mistakes of his family.

Speaking to ET, Keaton also described her own experience auditioning for the iconic project. "I auditioned for 'The Godfather' having never read it and I knew nothing about it, and just was there, I was standing there like every other woman," she recalled. "I didn't know what the hell I was there for. And they cast me in that role!"

diane keaton
Diane Keaton went on to be a leading lady in her own right after being a supporting performer in "The Godfather."Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images

Based on the best-selling but controversial novel of the same name by Mario Puzo, "The Godfather" was a high-profile project at Paramount Studios. A fictional account of how the film was conceived and produced is told in the Paramount + original series "The Offer."

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