Al Pacino was nearly fired from the 'Godfather' movies.

The 75-year-old actor, who starred as Michael Corleone in the iconic film franchise, has revealed his role in the movies was his most challenging to date and that he came perilously close to being fired at one stage.

The star - who's also played Tony Montana in 'Scarface' - shared: ''Michael Corleone in The Godfather was and still is the most difficult role I've played. I didn't see him as a gangster; I felt his power was his enigmatic quality.

''Unfortunately the studio couldn't see that at first and were thinking of firing me. It was during my early career, a major movie with Marlon Brando, and no one other than Francis [Ford Coppola] wanted me for the part.''

What's more, the Oscar-winning star dismissed suggestions there's any ill-feeling between himself and fellow Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro, who also appeared in the 'Godfather' franchise.

On their relationship, Al told the Guardian newspaper: ''I know Bobby pretty well. He's a friend and he and I have gone through similar things. I love what he does with comedy; it's pure genius.''