Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman of the most important actors of the last 50 years had successful careers, but at some point, they clashed for one simple reason.
Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman are two unavoidable references in the history of Hollywood cinema. Both built magnificent careers, with participation in great classics, awards, and tributes and today they represent the lighthouse for many colleagues, even those who are already part of great productions.
What is not so well known is that there was a rivalry between the two that lasted for several years, mainly when both were building the foundations of their respective careers. Of course, just as when one succeeds, one enjoys the joys of success, it is also true that there are thousands of people with the same desire, and that unfortunately, it is a place that not everyone can occupy.
Both Al Pacino and Dustin Hoffman trained in the same place: Lee Strasberg’s Actor Studio, where the already well-known method actors trained. Of course, the first one, being a few years younger, graduated from high school a few years later. Both began their careers in the theater, and after standing out there they were called to participate on the big screen.
Thus, both became the great young promises of their generation. Just as Pacino rose to fame with his magnificent performance in The Godfather, by Francis Ford Coppola, Hoffman was already a star for his participation in The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, and Straw Dogs. With the emergence of who years later would be Scarface, the reference of the new generation was no longer univocal.
Thus, they began to “dispute” roles in major productions. Both actors had a similar style, so many times the producers or directors had them both in the pipeline. In addition, the elusive Oscar Award, in which both received nominations but could not obtain it, increased this competition.
So much so that it is said that Al Pacino was going to reject the role of Dog Day Afternoon, a Sidney Lunet film that earned him one of his many Oscar nominations. However, upon learning that the second option was Dustin Hoffman himself, he preferred to participate rather than leave that option to his colleague.
Over time, both actors found success without resorting to the other’s defeat. Just as Pacino made great works like Scarface, Carlito’s Way, or The Devil’s Advocate, Dustin Hoffman participated in other fantastic works such as Tootsie, Krames vs. Krames, Joan of Arc, or American Buffalo. As a detail, they actually shared a cast in the acclaimed Dick Tracy. Although of course, they didn’t share the screen.
To close, it is worth clarifying that both even achieved the long-awaited Oscar. While Hoffman did it with Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man, with 7 nominations, Pacino deservedly won the award for Perfume of a Woman, leaving another 8 nominations at the door. Definitely a happy ending for both of them.