|13 years after that fateful coffee shop meeting, old buddies Al Pacino and Robert De Niro teamed on to take on the collective might of London’s Leicester Square at the UK premiere of their new thriller, Righteous Kill.|
Marking only the second time these cinematic titans have appeared on-screen together (and for the first time on the same side of the law), Righteous Kill finds Bobby and Al’s veteran NYPD detectives hunting down a serial killer with a penchant for dispensing his own perverted brand of justice.
So what was it about this movie that made the World’s Greatest Actors want to team up once again?
“Bob was doing this movie and he mentioned to the director ‘Well, what about Al for the other role?’” says Pacino. “They called me, I realised it was an opportunity to work with Bob and so I took the opportunity.
“It’s not like we’ve done a lot of things together but we’ve known each other and been close to each other for years. So it’s great for us to do something together and hopefully do something together again.”
“Yeah, I think we’re both comfortable with each other and it’s very important to feel at ease,” continues De Niro. “With the director Jon Avnet, who is very respectful of actors, he was always open for trying new things and still playing the director and guiding us. For me, it was all terrific.”
Not only does Righteous Kill see De Niro and Pacino joining forces for the first time since Heat but it also features another big-screen appearance from the one-man media conglomerate that is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson – known here is the UK as 28 Pence, if you factor in current exchange rates.
“Well he’s a great guy and we’re happy that we’ve got him, I only wish there was more of him but next time, you never know,” says De Niro before confessing that he’s not a huge fan of hip-hop. “Don’t tell anyone but I never listened to him, so I listened to some of his songs and I had to see he was pretty good. My kids were very impressed that I was working with him."
Did he ever feel the need to give “Fiddy” some acting lessons?
“No that was Jon the director’s job, not that I wouldn’t say anything if there was a need to say it but I would have gone through Jon.”
Having gotten the De Niro seal of approval, Jackson is understandably stoked about starring in their movie, albeit with just the right amount of reverential humility.
“Everybody who was involved in the project I think was a little nervous about working with Bob and Al, even the director was a bit nervous,” says Jackson. “But when you get nervous, you see people starting to get more energy and starting to pay more attention to their work.”
So has this latest on-screen appearance made him want to drop the hip-hop and make the leap full-time to acting?
“Well, I’m conditioned for music, I don’t really have to work hard to be a Top Five rapper, but I’m challenging myself creatively with screen projects and acting. Basically hip-hop doesn’t allow you to convey all emotions, the nature of the art form doesn’t allow you to express vulnerability.”
Talking of challenging, De Niro and Pacino found their second on-screen pairing was not without its own pressures.
“Well, there was a lot of pressure, but we didn’t know until afterwards,” says De Niro. “I would meet people and they would talk it up and ask about Heat and ask if it was going to be as good. It was then that I realised that we had to make this just as good and I think we’ve done that.”
Righteous Kill is in UK cinemas from September 25.