Nearly 45 years after Al Pacino and Carol Kane appeared in Sidney Lumet’s classic film “Dog Day Afternoon,” an Amazon Prime Video series about Nazi-hunters in 1977 New York City has brought them back together. Go figure.
“I’m proud to be working with him again,” Kane told Variety at the “Hunters” premiere on Wednesday night in Los Angeles. “We also did some theater back in the day. I find that he’s grown in so many ways, and we’ve both changed, of course, because we’re considerably older.”
Older? Maybe. More iconic? Certainly. As Pacino hit the green carpet outside the DGA Theater, the cast, crew and the reporters immediately paid him reverence. With “Hunters,” Pacino takes on his first series regular role, starring as Meyer Offerman, who heads a diverse group fighting against high-ranking Nazi officials attempting to set up a Fourth Reich in the United States. Logan Lerman — who co-stars as Jonah Heidelbaum, the newest recruit into Offerman’s group — gushed over working with Pacino, one of his cinematic idols.
“I learned so much from him, and it was a great experience,” Lerman said. “He’s an incredibly humble and generous person. I just loved every minute of it. I was really lucky.”
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, who directed the series’ pilot, added, “When Pacino was working, the other actors would watch video village and just watch his process because he loves acting so much.”
“One of my favorite films in the world is ‘Dog Day Afternoon,’” Kate Mulvany — who plays Sister Harriet, “a nun with a gun,” in the series — shared. “There was this fabulous moment on set one day that involved a phone ringing and Al picked up the phone and handed it to Carol, which is the same [moment] from ‘Afternoon.’ And then they went into the scene … So the rest of us were sort of this captive audience going, ‘I cannot believe this is happening.’”
She continued: “There’s a little bit of a nod to ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ in episode four [of ‘Hunters’] that Josh Radnor and I get to have a go at. So that was pretty joyful.”
Creator David Weil said he’s still pinching himself over having Pacino star in his series. “Oh my God, it was so amazing watching Al and Carol talk about stories from the past and just really illuminate everyone,” Weil recalled. “To see them together and to see them in action was extra special.”
While Pacino, Kane and their team of vigilantes execute their brand of bloody justice on-screen, Weil and his cast hope that the series has a positive effect on those who watch it.
“My grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, so I’ve always felt this antisemitism; I’ve always felt this otherness,” Weil explained. “It was so vital to have a show about others reclaiming power, the face of racism, xenophobia and antisemitism. And unfortunately, I think the show is more urgent and more timely than ever. To have a producer like Jordan Peele come on board and for this to really be a social thriller and a social commentary has just been the greatest gift in the world.”
“I hope that they connect to the question at the center of it, which is a question about morality. It’s a question about whether or not it takes evil to fight evil — if you have to become a bad guy to fight a bad guy. I’m curious to see where the audience lands with that question by the end of the season,” Lerman added.
After the premiere, the cast — including Josh Radnor, Saul Rubinek and Louis Ozawa — headed to the London Hotel for a swanky after-party with executive producer Jordan Peele and Amazon chief Jennifer Salke. The penthouse of the West Hollywood hotel was outfitted with ’70s-style furniture and signature cocktails with nods to the series, like “Not Your Safta’s Old Fashioned” and “The Red X.” Lerman and co-stars Jerrika Hinton and Tiffany Boone also hit up the “denim bar,” where guests could personalize their own jean jackets, featuring the “Hunters” logo.