The eyes of the other

John Lahr profiles actor Al Pacino:

To Pacino, there is no such thing as a fourth wall. “The audience is another character in the play,” he said. “They become part of the event. If they sneeze or talk back to the stage, you make it part of what you’re doing.” Once, when he was performing “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel,” the first play in David Rabe’s Vietnam trilogy, in Boston, in 1972, Pacino made a strong connection with a pair of penetrating eyes in the audience. “I remember feeling a focus I never experienced before—intense, so riveting that I directed my performance to that space,” he said. “I found at curtain call for the first time that I needed to find out who belonged to those eyes. So, as we were bowing, I looked over to the space where I believed the look was coming from and there it was, two seeing-eye dogs still looking at me. They must have found the curtain call as engaging as the performance.”