“I sometimes wonder if the inability to find oneself makes one seek oneself in other people, in characters.” John Cazale
From Wikipedia about John Cazale about Dog Day Afternoon
- Sidney Lumet commentary
“In the screenplay, Cazale’s role was written to be a smart-ass street kid. But Al came to me and said, ‘Sidney, please, I beg you, read John Cazale for it.’ And when John came in I was so discouraged and thought ‘Al must be out of his mind.’ This guy looks thirty, thirty-two, and that’s the last thing I want in this part. But Al had great taste in actors, and I hadn’t yet seen him in The Godfather. And Cazale came in, and then he read, and my heart broke. . . . “One of the things that I love about the casting of John Cazale … was that he had a tremendous sadness about him. I don’t know where it came from; I don’t believe in invading the privacy of the actors that I work with, or getting into their heads. But my God – it’s there – in every shot of him. And not just in this movie, but in Godfather II also.
“When Al asked him during a scene, ‘Is there any country you want to go to?’ Cazale improvised his answer by saying, after long thought, ‘Wyoming.’ To me that was the funniest, saddest line in the movie, and my favorite, because in the script he wasn’t supposed to say anything. I almost ruined the take because I started to laugh so hard… but it was a brilliant, brilliant, ad lib.”
- Al Pacino commentary
“It’s great working with John because he has a way of getting involved – in the whole thing, in the characters. He asks so many questions – he was just brilliant. It was tough to sell Johnny, but once Sidney got to see him read, and work with me, it turned out great.
I have talked about my love for the movie Dog Day Afternoon, but my love increased last night when I read more about it and John Cazale’s involvement. The whole movie is basically improvised, the scenes were scripted but the dialogue was improvised.