Al Pacino has recently admitted that he may have struggled with depression without actually knowing it, but feels lucky to have been spared a very bad experience.
The 72-year-old Oscar-winning actor was promoting his two new films "The Humbling" and "Manglehorn" at the Venice Film Festival. In Barry Levinson's erotic drama film "The Humbling," Pacino plays an ageing theatre actor who has an affair with a younger woman, played by the 31-year-old actress Greta Gerwig. He, on the other hand, plays a loner locksmith who never got over the love of his life in David Gordon Green's drama flick "Manglehorn."
Pacino's roles on both films are heavy, and during a press conference for "The Humbling" Saturday, Aug. 30, he was asked whether he ever shared the two characters' depression shown in both films.
"Fortunately, I may be depressed, but I don't know about it," the actor said blithely, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't see how I could not be depressed, some of the time, but I don't know about it."
"How does it go? You say I'm depressed? Life is sort of like all over us," he continued. "Things make you sad. Basically you'd like to be a little happier sometimes. But 'depressed' seems so ominous. It's really in all of us. We all relate to it."
"I probably have been, and I'm glad that I don't know about it, but now that you mention it maybe I'll give it some thought and be depressed," he quipped.
"People go into depressions and it's very sad and it's terrifying. I've had bouts with that, that comes close to that, but nothing that deep. I feel spared and I'm lucky," he said.
As to why he decided to take on his role in "The Humbling," Pacino said that he was attracted to it because of the contrast between his character's "tragic fall" and the film's elements of "comedy," according to Digital Spy UK.
"The character is getting older and the feelings he has for his work are becoming less available to him, so he tries to compensate and becomes a little off and confused and slips into a kind of depression that expresses itself in his work," he added of his character Simon Axler in the film based on Philip Roth's 2009 novel "The Humbling."
The 71st annual Venice Film Festival kicked off on Aug. 27 and will close on Sept. 6. Alejandro González Iñárritu's film "Birdman" opened the festival, The Guardian reported.
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