Al Pacino on the 1974 Oscars for Serpico: “I was eating valium like they were candy” – Jeff Bridges – Jack Lemmon – VIDEO
All The Right Movies: AL PACINO with a great Oscar story.
PLAYBOY: Have you ever gone to the Academy ceremonies?
I was at the Oscars once, for Serpico. That was the second time I was nominated. I was sitting in the third row or fourth row with Diane Keaton. Jeff Bridges was there with his girl. No one expected me to come. I was a little high. Somebody had done something to my hair, blew it or something, and I looked like I had a bird’s nest on my head, a real mess. I sat there and tried to look indifferent because I was so nervous. Any time I’m nervous, I try to put on an indifferent or a cold look.
At one point, I turned to Jeff Bridges and said, “Hey, looks like there won’t be time to get the Best Actor awards.” He gave me a strange look. He said, “Oh, really?” I said, “It’s over, the hour is up.” He said, “It’s three hours long.” I thought it was an hour TV show, can you imagine that? And I had to pee – bad. So, I popped a valium. Actually, I was eating valium like they were candy. Chewed on them.
Finally came the Best Actor. Can you imagine the shape I was in? I couldn’t have made it to the stage. I was praying, “Please don’t let it be me. Please.” And I hear… “Jack Lemmon.” I was just so happy I didn’t have to get up because I never would have made it.