Hollywood actor Al Pacino
Hollywood actor Al Pacino Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Hollywood legend Al Pacino opened up about turning down the role of Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’ because he “didn’t understand the script” and said that he “gave Harrison Ford a career.”

The 82-year-old opened up about being a “new kid on the block” at the time of inception for the now-cultural phenomenon and explained that although they “offered him so much money” he just “didn’t understand” the storyline.

“Well, I turned down Star Wars,” he told David Rubenstein as part of the 92nd Street Y, New York’s People Who Inspire Us series, reports mirror.co.uk.

“When I first came up, I was the new kid on the block, you know what happens when you first become famous.

“It’s like, ‘Give it to Al,’ they’d give me Queen Elizabeth to play,” Al recalled. “They gave me a script called Star Wars.”

“They offered me so much money,” he revealed. “But I didn’t understand it, I read it. So I said I couldn’t do it. I gave Harrison Ford a career.”

Harrison Ford took on the role as Han Solo in the original film, which grossed for $775.8 million at the worldwide box office with just an $11 million budget.

Harrison went on to reprise the role in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of The Jedi (1983) and again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015).

Al looked back on a role he did accept as Michael Corleone in The Godfather and stated that he rewatched the movie after not watching it for 25 years.

He added that at the time of filming the cult classic, studio executives were underwhelmed with his performance and were initially planning to replace him.

In a meeting with the movie’s director Francis Coppola, Al remembers him saying: “’You know, I had a lot of faith in you. And you’re failing me,’ I’m standing there thinking ‘What the [expletive], what did I do?’”

“The Sollozzo scene, where Michael shoots the cop. Coppola pushed that up, because he thought Paramount was about to fire me,” Al said.

“I do the scene, they liked it, and they kept me in because I shot someone.”

Al’s role in his most “gratifying film,” Scarface, came with a few downsides and the actor recalled one of his many injuries from being on set.

“One day, we’re shooting, fighting - “Say hello to my little friend’ - I shoot thirty rounds, I get hit, the gun goes down, and I’m supposed to be wounded.”

“I go to pick up the gun, and I put my hand on the barrel. My hand stuck to it, and I had to go to the hospital. I was out for two weeks.”

“I was gone,” he added: “but they shot the [expletive] out of it. They shot so much while I was away. Spielberg came down and had a crack at shooting someone. Everyone wanted to do it.”