Diane Keaton still doesn’t know why she was cast in “The Godfather” more than half a century after its release.
The ‘Annie Hall’ actress asked director Francis Ford Coppola via Instagram Stories, ‘Why on earth did you cast me in ‘The Godfather’?!”
Coppola replied: “I chose you, because even though you had to play the more straight/vanilla wife, there was something about you that was deeper and funnier and very interesting. (I was right).”
The author added that it was Keaton’s extraordinary performance in the musical “Hair” that partly convinced him to cast her.
“I was invited by Fred Astaire to accompany him to see ‘Hair’ from which he could not derive ‘hide nor hair’,” wrote Coppola. “You were in it, and I remember your beautiful singing voice.”
“The Godfather,” which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022, spawned two sequels, culminating in 1990’s “The Godfather: Part III.” Keaton, who played the wife of Michael Coreleone (Al Pacino), Kay in all three films, reflected on what he believed was a box office disappointment of the third installment.
“When I saw it a long time ago, it was like ‘Oh, I don’t know.’ It didn’t seem to go that well and the reviews weren’t great,” Keaton recalled during 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 admitted that he was initially taken aback by the level of fame he achieved after the “Godfather” movies after he “hit the lottery” to be cast in the lead.
“How did they give him ‘The Godfather’?” Pacino said during an interview with the NYT reflecting on the film’s anniversary. “It felt so outrageous. Here I am, talking to someone I think is insane. I said, ‘What train am I on? Okay. Hurt the boy.’ And he wanted me to do Michael. I thought, OK, I’ll be OK with that. I said, “Yes, Francis, good.” You know how they talk to you when you’re slipping? They say: ‘Yes! Obviously! YES!’ But he wasn’t. It was the truth. And then I was cast in the part.
He added, “’The Godfather’ gave me a new identity that was hard for me to deal with. It’s a job I’ve been so lucky to be involved in. But it took me forever to accept that and move on. It’s not like I played Superman.”