(dailymail.co.uk) - Veteran film director Francis Ford Coppola has launched a blistering attack on three of the great actors he has directed.
The five-time Oscar winner took a surprise hit at Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Jack Nicholson, saying he has become disappointed with them as they have grown older and richer.
Coppola, 68, who directed Pacino in The Godfather and Godfather II, and De Niro in Godfather II, and who was not credited for directing Nicholson in the horror film The Terror, told GQ magazine he does not believe they have ambition any longer.
"I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come," he said.
"They were young and insecure.
"Now Pacino is very rich, maybe because he never spends any money; he just puts it in his mattress."
Referring to the influence of his own studio, American Zoetrope, he went on: "De Niro was deeply inspired by Zoetrope and created an empire and is wealthy and powerful.
"Nicholson was when I met him and worked wit him he was always kind of a joker.
"He's got a little bit of a mean streak. He's intelligent, always wired in with the big boys and the big bosses of the studios.
"I don't know what any of them want any more. I don't know that they want the same things."
"Pacino always wanted to do theatre. He will say, 'Oh, I was raised next to a furnace in New York and I'm never going to go to LA,' but they all live on the fat of the land."
None of the actors would comment when asked by the New York Daily News about Coppola's remarks.
De Niro, 64, who has won tow Oscars and had four more nominations, and Pacino 70, who has one Oscar from eight nominations, are currently shooting the crime drama Righteous Kill.
Nicholson, 70, last seen in The Departed, has three Academy Awards and has been nominated for nine more. He will next be seen in the dark comedy The Bucket List, opening in January.
Coppola went on: "I think if there was role that De Niro was hungry for, he would come after it. I don't think Jack would.
"Jack has money and influence and girls, and I think he's a little bit like Brando, except Brando went through some tough times.
"I guess they don't want to do it any more."
Coppola himself has concentrated on producing and executive producing in the past fews years, with films including his daughter Sofia's Los In Translation and ,ironically, De Niro's film The Good Shepherd.
He has also been focusing on his acclaimed Californian vineyards and his resorts in Belize and Guatemala.
The first feature film he has directed since The Rainmaker 10 years ago, Youth Without You, is due for release in December, and his has finished shooting the drama Tetro, starring Before Night Falls and Goya's Ghosts actor Javier Bardem, 38.
He compared his new star favourable to his old ones, adding: "You know, even in those days, after The Godfather, I didn't feel that those actors were ready to say, 'Let's do something else really ambitious.'
"A guy like Javier Bardem is excited to do something good. 'Let me do this,' or 'I'll put stuff in my mouth, change my appearance.'
"I don't feel that kind of passion to do a role and be great coming from those guys because if it was there they would do it."