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Al Pacino, Ludacris Talk ‘Scarface’ & Hip-Hop

AP

During a red carpet interview with MTV, at a party celebrating the Blu-ray release of legendary gangster flick ‘Scarface,’ Al Pacino discussed his starring role as Tony Montana, and the influence the film has had on hip-hop.

Though the film was considered a critical and commercial failure when it was released in 1983, it has since become a hip-hop cult classic, quoted by everyone from Jay-Z, Nas and Mobb Deep to Ice Cube, and inspiring the vast majority of rappers with its rags-to-riches story of Tony Montana’s rise and fall.

“The hip-hop people and the rappers got together and they made a video and they talked about the movie. I don’t think anybody’s ever talked about it as articulately and clearly. I understood it better having heard them talk about it,” Pacino told MTV, in reference to the 2003 documentary ‘Scarface: Origins of a Hip-Hop Classic.’

He went on to explain that rappers have been the support system to keep the flick in the mainstream spotlight. “I mean, they really get it and they understand it, and that’s a great thing. They’ve been very supportive all these years. I think they’ve helped us tremendously.”

The 71-year-old ‘Scarface’ star continued to liken hip-hop’s obsession with the film with his own appreciation for the 1932 original version.

“When I saw it for the first time — and I don’t mean mine, I mean Paul Muni’s from [the] 1930s — I had that feeling about it too,” Pacino explained. “Anything when the hero is just reaching for something … Man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for? That’s a great expression, and I think that’s Tony Montana. Reaching for something he can’t get but he keeps going. There is an element of hope in it, believe it or not.”

Rapper Ludacris was also interviewed on the red carpet at the Blu-ray release party, and revealed his favorite line from the film, which should be no surprise.

l”Say hello to my little friend,” he said, referring to the oft-quoted line from Tony Montana’s last stand. “That is definitely my best line and best part of the movie, because he just went out in a blaze of glory, man. If you gonna go out, that’s how you go out.”

‘Scarface’ is available on Blu-ray on Sept. 6.

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