The actor, 79, spoke to PEOPLE about the honor on Tuesday while promoting his upcoming show Hunters at the Television Critics Association press tour.
This is Pacino’s first Oscar nomination since his 1993 win for Best Actor in Scent of a Woman. He was also up for a second nomination that year for Best Supporting Actor in Glengarry Glen Ross.
“The idea of it being the first [nomination] in a long time, well, that’s cool,” Pacino said. “But I guess, just getting an Oscar nomination, it’s just, how about it just makes you feel good? It really does.”
He continued, “I’ve experienced it. There was a lot of talk about [a possible nomination], and I thought, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ And then when they told me I was nominated for it, it did give me a rush, and it did make me feel very good.”
The movie follows Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran, a truck driver who becomes a hitman for mobster Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) and his crime family, and depicts Sheeran’s possible involvement in the killing of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino).
Based on the Charles Brandt novel I Heard You Paint Houses, the movie has a three and a half hour runtime.
*pours glass of wine*— Netflix Film (@NetflixFilm) December 10, 2019
My friends, I’ve got some news from the big guy at the top: THE IRISHMAN was watched by 26,404,081 accounts globally — within its first 7 days on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/abVV993CWS
The movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, was nominated for a total of 10 Oscars including Best Directing and Best Supporting Actor for Pesci who will compete against Pacino.
In December, Netflix released viewership numbers for the mob epic on Twitter.
“My friends, I’ve got some news from the big guy at the top: THE IRISHMAN was watched by 26,404,081 accounts globally — within its first 7 days on Netflix,” a Twitter account for the streaming service announced.
The Irishman is now streaming on Netflix.