In the new issue of GQ, erstwhile filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola -- we'll see what Youth Without Youth does for his ailing career -- goes off on an impressively long and specific rant against three of today's geriatric acting legends for not showing passion for their craft anymore. "I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come," Coppola says. "They were young and insecure. Now Pacino is rich, maybe because he never spends any money, he just puts it under the mattress. De Niro ... created an empire and is wealthy and powerful. Nicholson was -- when I met him and worked with him -- he was always kind of a joker. He's got a little bit of a mean streak. He's intelligent, always wired in with the big guys and the big bosses of the studios."
Coppola goes on to say that he doesn't know what they "want" anymore (in their work, presumably) and then he singles Nicholson out as the most unmotivated of the three. "I think if there was a role that De Niro was hungry for, he would come after it. I don't think Jack would. Jack has money and influence and girls, and I think he's a little bit like Brando, except Brando went through some tough times. I guess they don't want to do it anymore." (Come on -- no tough times? Nicholson found out his sister was his mother when he was, like, 40!)
You think Coppola's done? Oh, no ... he's just getting warmed up. "Even in those days, after The Godfather, I didn't feel those actors were ready to say 'Let's do something else really ambitious,'" he continues. "A guy like Javier Bardem is excited to do something good: 'Let me do this' or 'I'll put stuff in my mouth, change my appearance.' I don't feel that kind of passion to do a role and be great coming from those guys..." So there you have it folks. Francis Ford Coppola is back, and he's looking for young, hungry actors who are willing to put stuff in their mouths.