We all love Heat, Michael Mann’s 1995 crime epic starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro.  Most memorably, these two screen legends actually got to share a scene together, something that had never happened previously, since The Godfather Part II cut the entirety of Michael Corleone’s time travel subplot. The second-most memorable part of Heat? It’s got to be Al Pacino’s sudden outburst about his rabid enthusiasm for butts. 

When Pacino pressures Hank Azaria’s character to become a police informant, Azaria wonders aloud why he let himself to get romantically involved with the wife of one of DeNiro’s henchmen – at which point Pacino bellows, with all the subtlety and restraint of a televangelist downing energy drinks, that it’s “Because she’s got a greaaat ass!!” while his eyes bug out of his head like an old-timey cartoon wolf who just got back from the optometrist. 

Azaria seems stunned, and a little freaked out, as Pacino further elucidates his passion for women’s posteriors. It’s a wild moment that seemingly has no explanation in the context of the film – but it turns out that there is a behind-the-scenes reason for this random acting choice. If you guessed “cocaine,” give yourself a pat on the back.

According to Pacino, while it was never actually seen in the finished movie, his character Lt. Vincent Hanna, is supposed to be “​​strung out on cocaine throughout the film” and that’s where “some of the behavior comes from.” Apparently, the memo about Hanna’s Tony Montana-like habit didn’t make its way to Azaria who was “genuinely terrified” (on his 30th birthday, no less) when around take 70, Pacino went full Pacino.

Presumably this means that every other unhinged Al Pacino performance, from The Devil’s Advocate to Jack and Jill, was really a nuanced study of a character grappling with a secret  addiction. 

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Top Image: Warner Bros. 

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