10 Questions for Al Pacino

On top of winning an American Film Institute Life Achievement Award this month, this icon is releasing The Al Pacino Collection, a DVD boxed set of three personal films. Al Pacino will now take your questions

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Eamonn McCabe / Camera Press / Retna

Al Pacino

Do you think Italian-American culture is represented unfairly in film and on TV? Jeff Palatini, COLUMBUS, OHIO

Explain to me what Italian-American culture is. We've been here 100 years. Isn't Italian-American culture American culture? That's because we're so diverse, in terms of intermarriage. Most everybody who's Italian is half Italian. Except me. I'm all Italian. I'm mostly Sicilian, and I have a little bit of Neapolitan in me. You get your full dose with me.

How do you feel about all those hip-hop artists on MTV's Cribs who have Scarface shrines? Ricky Baizas MANILA

The most popular movie I've ever made is Scarface, all over the world. It's amazing to me. It's wonderful. We sometimes forget that it was Oliver Stone who wrote it. He is a political creature, and I think that is an undercurrent in the movie. And the combination of him and Brian De Palma made for this kind of fusion or explosion. It worked.

After your lifetime-achievement award, do you feel more secure in the business than you did in, say, 1977? Marie Craddock PALM BAY, FLA.

I'm secure in knowing things I would like to do [professionally]. But you need some insecurity if you're an actor. It keeps the pot boiling. I haven't yet started to think about retiring. I was shocked when I heard about Paul Newman retiring at age 82. Most actors just fade away like old soldiers.

Who does the best Al Pacino impression? Quan Ha, LITTLETON, COLO.

Certainly not me. Kevin Spacey comes close. Jamie Foxx does a good rendition of me. It's a real gift, mimicry of that kind, the tonal thing. It's sort of like having a talent for playing an instrument.

What event in your childhood had the most impact on the way you now look at the world? Don Carmen Schimizzi ROCHESTER, N.Y.

It would probably be the early films my mother took me to when I was just a baby. When my mother got home from work, she would take me to the movies. It was her way of getting out, and she would take me with her. I'd go home and act all the parts. It had a tremendous influence on my becoming an actor.

Do you feel you've fulfilled your vision in the films you've directed? Ignacio Meza LOS ANGELES

In Looking for Richard I had a clear vision. Salomaybe?, this movie I'm making now [about staging Oscar Wilde's play Salome], is the first time I ever had a passion without a vision and hoped that my passion would lead me to a vision. I think that's because I don't consider myself a full-time director. Acting is my deal. I look at the world as an actor looks at the world 'cause that's been my whole life.

Do you regret turning down any roles? Sara Orozco, BOGOTÁ

I do. There was a period in my life when I was turning down parts for no reason except I didn't want to work. That's way back in the '70s. Even now it's very hard to know yourself as an actor. Only once in a while do you get a feeling for a role. I recommend watching The Dresser. It's a great movie if you want to know about actors.

Are you a happy person? Nerissa Quizon, MANILA

Happy? I haven't figured that out yet. I have my days. There are moments when you have feelings of well-being, a certain peace. There are periods when that's more frequent than others. My children make me happy.

If a movie were to be made about your life, what would it be called, and who would play you? Danijela Grbavac, TORONTO

It would be called The Dustin Hoffman Story. When we were starting out, [Robert] De Niro, me and Hoffman were always sort of mixed up. People mistook us for each other.

I know you are a private person, but I hear that you can really dance. Would you consider doing Dancing with the Stars? Rita J. Brown, MINNEAPOLIS

Actually, I would consider it. All due respect and trying to be as modest as I can be, I am a dancer. But I don't think I would be on Dancing with the Stars mainly because I would be too shy.

TIME's interview with the award-winning actor continues on Time.com. Go to the next page to read our extra questions with Al Pacino. Also, to submit questions for upcoming 10 Q subjects, go to time.com/10questions

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