Diane Keaton Reveals How She Helped Al Pacino Get Cast in 'The Godfather' (Exclusive)

By
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

It's almost impossible to imagine a world in which Al Pacino didn't play Michael Corleone in 1972's The Godfather. However, Diane Keaton says that producers almost went a different direction -- until she was cast in the film.

Keaton recently spoke with ET's Nischelle Turner, while discussing her new film Mack & Rita, and she reflected on her iconic career filled with beloved and uniquely quirky characters.

Going back to the very beginning of her film career, Keaton remembered how she was cast in The Godfather -- and how little she ever expected to land the role that went on to be so vitally important to the film and its legacy.

"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 remembered. " I didn't know what the hell I was there for. And they cast me in that role!"

While she had been cast, the producers and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola were still looking for the right actor to play Michael Corleone, the reluctant heir to the Corleone crime family and beating heart of the entire movie.

"Nobody wanted Al Pacino. They didn't want him to play that part, and I had already been cast," Keaton recalled. "I had been cast before Al Pacino in Godfather 1! Is this not weird?"

"So I was standing there and they brought him up when I was standing there and we worked together in front of [the producers], and they gave him the job," she continued. "Do you believe that? After he had auditioned before and they didn't want him."

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

Now, 40 years later, Keaton is still a leading lady with her new film, Mack & Rita. The film follows a 30-year-old writer and self-described homebody named Mack (Elizabeth Lail), who reluctantly agrees to go to Palm Springs for a bachelorette party for her best friend Carla (Taylour Paige). However, when arriving, Mack magically transforms into her future 70-year-old self, who goes by the name Aunt Rita (played by Keaton).

The actress opened up about what attracted her to the role, sharing, "There aren't a lot of these female-driven movies, so we're fortunate to [be able to do one]."

"And it is good, and it is good to do and be part of that. There's not a whole lot of them," she added.

Mack & Rita is set to hit theaters Aug. 12.

RELATED CONTENT:

Diane Keaton Mistook Reese Witherspoon's Son for This Oscar Winner

See Diane Keaton Live It Up With Justin Bieber in His New Music Video

Diane Keaton Wearing Snakeskin Boots Is All You Need to See Today

'First Wives Club' Stars Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton and Bette Midler Reuniting for a New Comedy

Diane Keaton on Her 'Bad Habit' of Checking Instagram Too Often (Exclusive)