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View Full Version : GQ's Oral History of the Making of Goodfellas



Derrick King
09-22-2010, 03:06 AM
Getting Made The Scorsese Way (http://www.gq.com/entertainment/movies-and-tv/201010/goodfellas-making-of-behind-the-scenes-interview-scorsese-deniro?printable=true)

An excerpt to whet your appetite

Barbara De Fina (executive producer): I don't remember there being a lot of choices about who could play Henry Hill. There weren't a lot of actors who could pull it off. He had to do terrible things, and yet you had to somehow care about him. But Ray wasn't a big star.

Irwin Winkler (producer): Tom Cruise was discussed.

Martin Scorsese (director; co-writer): I'd seen Ray in Something Wild, Jonathan Demme's film; I really liked him. And then I met him. I was walking across the lobby of the hotel on the Lido that houses the Venice Film Festival, and I was there with The Last Temptation of Christ. I had a lot of bodyguards around me. Ray approached me in the lobby and the bodyguards moved toward him, and he had an interesting way of reacting, which was he held his ground, but made them understand he was no threat. I liked his behavior at that moment, and I saw, Oh, he understands that kind of situation. That's something you wouldn't have to explain to him.

Liotta: I think I was the first person that Marty met, but it took maybe a year. It was a very, very long process, not knowing anything and really wanting to do this. I was new. I'd only done three movies at the time. All I heard was that the studio wanted somebody else—"What about this?" "What about Eddie Murphy?"

Winkler: Marty wanted Ray very badly. Frankly I thought we could do a lot better, and I kept putting him off saying, "Let's keep looking." And then me and my wife were having dinner one night in a restaurant down in Venice, California, and lo and behold, Ray Liotta came over to me. He was in the same restaurant, quite by coincidence, and he asked if he could come talk to me.

Liotta: I just went up and said that I really, really wanted to do the movie.

Winkler: We went outside, he said, "Look, I know you don't want me for it but I…," and he really sold me on the role right that evening. I called Marty the next morning and I said, "I see what you mean."

Liotta: Eventually I got a phone call, and Marty said I had it. I think I broke down and cried. My mom was really sick at the time.

De Fina: Madonna seemed to be in the mix [for the role of Henry's wife, Karen]. I remember that we went to see her in the play Speed-the-Plow. Marty said hello to her afterwards. There was definitely somebody somewhere wanting to cast her. Can you imagine? Tom Cruise and Madonna? But Marty can get a performance out of almost anyone.

Troy Howarth
09-22-2010, 08:22 AM
Looks like an interesting article.. I'm glad they went with Liotta and Bracco! :D

mark t
09-22-2010, 09:20 AM
EDDIE MURPHY??????? Oh man, the mind boggles.

I've gone on record quite a few times with my dislike of Ray Liotta. But after all of these years, I have to admit, that even though I think that he's a horrifically terrible actor, his strange method works well in GOODFELLAS.

Steve R
09-22-2010, 02:40 PM
Derrick,

Thanks, man! Never would have seen this article.
It's fantastic.
Been in my top ten ever since I first saw it.

Steve

Jonathan H.
09-22-2010, 04:42 PM
EDDIE MURPHY??????? Oh man, the mind boggles.

I've gone on record quite a few times with my dislike of Ray Liotta. But after all of these years, I have to admit, that even though I think that he's a horrifically terrible actor, his strange method works well in GOODFELLAS.

Not a huge Liotta fan, either, but the man can do no wrong in SOMETHING WILD and GOODFELLAS.

Shawn S2
09-22-2010, 04:58 PM
excellent read, great stuff.

Derrick King
09-22-2010, 07:19 PM
Derrick,

Thanks, man! Never would have seen this article.
It's fantastic.
Been in my top ten ever since I first saw it.

Steve

No problem. I'm just happy GQ posted it online.

Steven Millan
09-23-2010, 12:10 AM
No problem. I'm just happy GQ posted it online.


Me,too,since those are some interesting tidbits to a film that is definitely one of the best Mob movies around(and holds up well to repeated viewings). :cool: :cool: