9 things you never knew about the 'Godfather' movies from the stars and director

Last year, cast and crew from “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II” got together for a screening for the two films and a panel for the closing night of the Tribeca Film Festival — a festival that was started by “Godfather: Part II” star Robert De Niro.

De Niro, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and director Francis Ford Coppola were all on the panel honouring the 45th anniversary of “The Godfather. Director Taylor Hackford led the conversation.

Here’s what you didn’t know about the “Godfather” movies, from the panel at the Tribeca Film Festival:

Francis Ford Coppola didn't like the book when he first read it.

Tribeca Film Festival

'I was disappointed in the book when I first read it because it's very long,' the director said.

Al Pacino recalled that the studio didn't even want him to play Michael Corleone -- they wanted Robert Redford.


'The studio didn't want me after they hired me,' Pacino said. 'I was living on 90th and Broadway at the time. I walked to the Village and back. I did it every day, thinking about this role. Just thinking where I could go with it. I came, and started filming it. I was dizzy. I was new to film. We were theatre actors.'

Diane Keaton felt out of place among the rest of the cast members.

Tribeca Film Festival

'I always felt like I was the most outsider, weird person,' she said. 'Like, why was I cast again? But then I had a couple good scenes with Al.'

Keaton and Pacino got drunk together after shooting the wedding scene.

Tribeca Film Festival

'We got so loaded after that wedding sequence,' Pacino said. 'We were theatre actors, and we were not used to film. The whole thing had sort of a surreal feel to it. So we got back and started drinking.'

Coppola got emotional watching the films, especially 'Part II.'

'I found it to be a very emotional experience,' he said. 'There's a lot I forgot about the making of it.'

The cast joked around on set, despite it being such a serious film series.

Tribeca Film Festival

Actors Robert Duvall and James Caan reminisced about the fun times they had on the set. They would try their hardest to make their very serious cast member Marlon Brando laugh.

'During the wedding scene, we were all mooning each other,' Duvall said.

To prepare for his role as the young Vito Corleone, De Niro studied Brando's performance by watching the first film over and over again.


'I looked at the footage in a scientific way. I had to find spots where I could imitate what he was doing. I enjoyed it,' De Niro said.

Talia Shire, who played Connie Corleone and is Coppola's sister in real life, was the one who came up with the idea that Diane Keaton's character should have an abortion.

Tribeca Film Festival

Keaton was visibly taken aback upon learning this revelation about the origin of her character's story.

Coppola doesn't think the any of the movies could be made today, at least based on how studios work.

Tribeca Film Festival

'This film could be made today, but it wouldn't get a go-ahead from a studio,' the director said. 'The first film was made for about $US6.5 million. The second was made for $US11 or $US12 million. It would never get a green light today.'

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