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Diane Keaton knew nothing about The Godfather when she auditioned

Diane Keaton had not read the best-selling book of The Godfather when she auditioned for the role of Kay, and didn't know a single thing

Diane Keaton in The Godfather

When The Godfather was gearing up for production, it was the hottest property in town, thanks to the fact that Mario Puzo’s book sold over 20 million copies – making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Actors were lining up to star in Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation, but at least one of them had no idea what it was.

Diane Keaton was recently getting her hands and feet immortalized in front of Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre and admitted to People that she was clueless when it came to The Godfather. “I think the kindest thing that someone’s ever done for me … is that I got cast to be in The Godfather and I didn’t even read it. I didn’t know a single thing,” Keaton recalled. “I just was going around auditioning. I think that was amazing for me. And then I had to kind of read the book.”

“I think about how lucky I am. That’s what I think. And the way I think about things, like I auditioned for The Godfather, not having ever read The Godfather or caring about The Godfather or anything, because all I was doing was auditioning. I needed to get work,” she explained. “So I was there and so he (Coppola) had me come back and then he cast me and then Al Pacino.”

Famously, there was studio resistance to Pacino being cast. “So he brought Al Pacino in and we did it together and for some reason that helped them cast him. Can you imagine if [they] hadn’t cast him? So a lot of these experiences that you have come and you’re just surprised, like today, this was a surprise. This is [a] complete, utter surprise to me,” Keaton added.

“It was just one of those things in your life where you just don’t expect it and then suddenly it comes your way. And then it’s like, wow. I was thrilled, of course. And I still am,” Keaton concluded.

The Godfather ended up being a box office and critical success, won multiple Oscars, and is widely considered one of the best movies of all time. That is until The Godfather Part II came along of course. So, the rest as they say, is history.

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