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Pacino tells of his battle to beat drink and drugs habit

HOLLYWOOD legend Al Pacino told yesterday how he was once so wasted on drink and drugs at an Oscars ceremony that he was relieved he did not win.

The 'Godfather' star said he was so strung out he did not think he could have made it to the stage if he had won Best Actor for 'Serpico' in 1973.

"I was into whatever altered my mood - a lot of booze and a lot of pills. I stopped all that a long time ago," he said.

"But I remember thinking at those Oscars: 'If I get this award, I don't know if I'll be able to get to the stage'. I also didn't have anything prepared to say. I was out of sync with what was happening to me. So when Jack Lemmon won, I was smiling and applauding."

Pacino was giving a rare interview to promote his latest film, 'S1m0ne', a satire in which he plays a film director who hires a digitally-created actress because of the increasing attitude problems of real-life stars.

The 62-year-old said he could relate to his character's problem with modern-day Hollywood actors, declaring: "The world of celebrity has gone mad."

He added: "It is very scary, because it happens when you are on a tightrope. You are up there, trying to make a part happen, when someone starts being difficult."

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