(3/3) What’s it like to be 86? “There’s a level of confidence that you gain, and depending on your experience you want to use it for good. I enjoy being a mentor. I enjoy people asking me questions—to recognize that I have life experience. That’s the best part about it. I don’t worry about the physical or mental aspects of it.
Tell me about a favorite acting memory. “I went on for Fagin one time. I was understudy for him in Oliver Twist. I was 27 years old. It was a big success and the applause made me realize I can be an actor and get better and better at this. So I went into musical and comic shows and really dramatic acting. And, of course, it culminated into characterizations. I enjoyed that moment when I did Fagin; it was a big moment for me. And then when I went to Hollywood and [Francis Ford] Coppola cast me in Godfather II, I realized I could make it in films. I was the stereotypical character as a gangster, which was good. I never really considered it a stereotype. I didn’t mind it. I knew that every character is different. A stereotype is something in people’s minds. Every character is different, depending on the circumstances at play.”