Acclaimed American film and theater actor Al Pacino has backed out of a stage production after learning of the writer's well-known support for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
According to the Telegraph, Pacino was slated to star in the Danish Avery-T theater's stage adaptation of Norwergian author Knut Hamsun's psychological thriller "Hunger."
Hamsun, considered a pioneer of psychological literature, later became an advocate of the Nazis, showing immense support for their occupation of Norway during World War II.
The writer was also in contact with a number of high-ranking Nazi officials, including the Reich's Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, and even managed to receive an audience with Hitler in 1943.
After Hitler's death, the aged author wrote a eulogy for him, saying: "He was a warrior, a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations."
Pacino was scheduled to visit the theater in Copenhagen last week to film the role of the narrator; a hologram of the actor was to be projected on stage during the course of play.
However, "he jumped at the last minute because he couldn’t come to terms with Knut Hamsun's support for the German occupation and Nazism,” Jon Stephensen, Aveny-T’s manager, said. “We must respect that.”
Others were not so receptive. Hege Faust, chairperson of Norway's Hansum society, criticized those who could not separate the author's literary works from his politics.
“Many people choose not to read Hamsun at all, or when it comes to famous people such as Al Pacino, to risk having their name connected to him,” she opined.