LOS ANGELES – Say hello to my little friend.
Three decades after “Scarface” hit theaters in all its coked-out, gun-toting gangster glory, the film is considered a masterpiece. But star Steven Bauer, who played Pacino’s partner-in-crime Manny Ribera, tells FOX411 it wasn’t always like that. He said none other than Martin Scorcese told him at an advanced screening of the film that the entertainment powers were “going to hate the movie.”
“The entire community did turn its back on ‘Scarface’ and left it in the gutter. Not only did the creatives hate it, but the industry people, casting people, the producers and the studio people all had an adverse reaction. They didn’t want this film to represent them,” Bauer said. “This movie is about greed and corruption and the main character is attractive. Needless to say, there weren’t any Academy Award nominations for ‘Scarface’ even though the foreign press gave us three (Golden Globe) nominations. ‘Scarface’ was just too violent to be accepted by Hollywood and too violent with anti-social characters, so they were afraid of the film.”
But Bauer, 57, said he and his co-stars knew they were onto something special.
“I always had this feeling that it couldn’t be resisted, it was different from anything that had come before,” he continued. “I used to bug Al (Pacino) about it all the time, and asked him ‘Well what are your fans going to say? They’ve never seen you like this.’ He would say, ‘Well it’s going to be really, really acclaimed or it is going to be really, really hated. Just prepare.’ We knew it would be extreme, we just didn’t know… At the time it was released it was considered a disaster, but the audiences loved it."
Bauer said the script, penned by Oliver Stone, had a lot to do with its success.
“He is an interesting man with a lot to say,” the Cuban-American actor and former husband to Melanie Griffith said of the controversial director. “I don’t agree with him politically, but he is a bright man.”
Bauer’s career has come a long way since 1983, as the actor has starred in everything from “Primal Fear” and “Traffic,” to “Raising Cain” and “The Beast.” Today he is acting alongside Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight in the hit Showtime series “Ray Donovan,” but he acknowledged its going to be hard to ever top the film that made him a star.
“I’m just happy I have been able to live this long and I’m still young enough to enjoy it. Even Al can enjoy it,” Bauer added. “When I saw him for dinner recently … we can talk about ‘Scarface’ forever.”
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.