Beverly D’Angelo is opening up about her relationship with Al Pacino, much to the delight of curious social media users.
Back in December, I wrote this piece, which covered the unconventional beginnings of the pair’s relationship while she was married to Lorenzo Salviati, an Italian duke.
Since her December story with PEOPLE, though, and likely long before then, there’s been an appetite for more details about not only her relationships, but the philosophy behind them.
In a reel shared to her Instagram, she took her audience down memory lane, talking about how she and Al met.
"In 1996, we were on the same plane going from Los Angeles to New York. He was seated in front of me, he said 'Come up and sit beside me,' and by the time the plane landed, it was on," she said in the video. "In 1997, he looked me in the eye and said 'I want you to be the mother of my children,' and although I'd avoided that role my whole life, I was deeply in love and I was 100 percent in.”
Clearly, there was something magnetic about Al. It’s a sentiment echoed by Diane Keaton, another one of his exes. The two had the hots for each other when they were both cast in The Godfather in 1971, eventually becoming a couple.
“I was mad for him. Charming, hilarious, a nonstop talker,” she told PEOPLE back in 2017. “There was an aspect of him that was like a lost orphan, like this kind of crazy idiot savant. And oh, gorgeous!”
Despite the pair being very much in love, when Diane gave him a marriage ultimatum, he refused to commit, causing the pair to split.
“I worked hard on that one,” she said. “I went about it in not a perfect way.”
In her video, Beverly goes on to say that in the same year he told her he wanted her to be the mother of his children, the couple began using in vitro fertilization to help conceive their twins, Anton and Olivia. They were born in 2001, a few years before they ended up splitting up.
"Yikes, it got complicated, and our split was finalized in 2004,” she said, adding that "the power of our love for our children was the basis for resolving our conflicts and creating a new history as coparents."
As someone who is currently coparenting and has dated people who were also coparenting, I can affirm that it’s not easy. I’ve always pushed the importance of clear, rigid boundaries with exes and new partners being in place, a belief Al and Beverly don’t seem to subscribe to, yet doing it their way seemed to work for them, both in raising their kids and as exes. She even says it in the video.
“As for me and Al, it is a unique and profound friendship between two artists that endures to this day through thick and thin,” she said. “27 years now of doing it our way.”
She also suggests that because they did it their way, it made it possible to achieve so many of the things people are looking for, but don’t always find, in conventional relationships.
“We lived together for seven years, had two children, broke up, but continued steadily on our journey as co-parents and came to share our lives with a deeper kind of intimacy, honesty and acceptance than a ‘traditional’ relationship would have allowed,” she wrote in the caption. “It’s definitely a unique relationship, encompassing a wide breadth and depth of experiences and emotions, through thick and thin, a true friendship.”
There are two things that I attribute this couple’s success to, and the first is friendship. “There are infinite layers in every intimate relationship,” Beverly’s caption reads. Friendship needs to be one of those layers. I’ve asked my parents, who have been together for more than 30 years and have never officially married, what the key to their longevity has been and their answer has always been the same.
“That’s my best friend,” either of them will say on any given day.
They tout the importance of being with someone you can talk to about anything, someone you can sit in silence with, comfortably, and someone who is going to pull through for you in your toughest times. You can see the friendship in Beverly and Al’s relationship – it’s in the way she talks about him, it’s in the way they went about their split and how they went about life after it. These are friends. And that’s so important.
Secondly, they’re successful because of the understanding they have of themselves. While Al and Beverly may not have had clear, rigid boundaries in their coparenting, they each had a very clear understanding of what they wanted, where they were flexible and where they weren’t, which are, in fact, still boundaries. Al knew he never wanted to marry, just as Diane spelled out. For him, his boundary was marriage. He wasn’t flexible when it came to tying the knot. And he was willing to walk away from his relationship with her if it meant going against what he wanted for himself.
Same thing with Beverly. While she had been avoiding the role of wife and mother her whole life up until that point, she knew where she was flexible – and who she’d be flexible for. So when he proposed (pun intended) that she be the mother of his children, she agreed because she wanted it, too.
Beverly always seems to remind us that intimacy isn’t only reserved for people you might be married to, or someone you’re sleeping with. Intimacy, quite simply, is anyone you have a close relationship with. And the more time you spend deciding for yourself what you want those relationships to look like and how you want them to function, and finesse and refine it as often as you need to along the way, the more likely you are to stumble upon success – the kind you define.