Famous director Martin Scorsese recently wrote a very touching tribute to actor Ray Liotta, the leading man of his 1990 classic, “Goodfellas.” Liotta was 67-years-old when he died unexpectedly while sleeping at home.
Liotta is most famous for his role as Henry Hill Jr. in Scorsese’s film “Goodfellas,” and now the legendary director has written about Liotta’s confidence and talent while they worked together. He also expressed regret that he never worked with Liotta after “Goodfellas.”
Read on to find out more.
Martin Scorsese Spoke About Ray Liotta’s Confidence And Talent
Scorsese, the director behind “Goodfellas,” has now written a touching tribute to Liotta. In an article interview for The Guardian, Scorsese spoke about how Liotta convinced producer Irwin Winkler that he was the perfect man to play Henry Hill and his amazing work ethic while they worked on the film.
Scorsese also talked about how Liotta took a new approach to the character of Henry and how he never faltered even when he was “the new guy” on the set. He said, “The word ‘fearless’ is used quite often to describe actors, and with good reason: actors need to be fearless. They have to jump in and just go, and they have to stumble and fail and risk appearing ridiculous as they’re finding their way into a role.”
He continued, “On Goodfellas, we were working improvisationally in most scenes, and many members of the team had known each other and worked together for years, including my mother and my father. Into that walked the new guy, Ray Liotta, and he never missed a beat. It felt like we’d worked together for years.”
‘Goodfellas’ Propelled Liotta To Fame
Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” was the film adaptation of “Wiseguy,” a nonfiction book by Nicholas Pileggi. In the seminal gangster film, Liotta played the role of Henry Hill Jr. as he rose through the mob ranks with his friends Jimmy and Tommy, played by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, respectively.
“Goodfellas” is one of the most famous gangster films and is often ranked beside the infamous film “The Godfather” by Francis Ford. However, despite its overwhelming popularity amongst viewers and film critics, the movie only won one Academy Award, which was the Best Supporting Actor for Pesci.
When “Goodfellas” premiered, Liotta was already bubbling for his roles in projects like “Field of Dreams” and “Something Wild.” His performance as Henry then propelled him to international fame, cementing it as his most famous role. He subsequently appeared in several crime movies and became a legend in that genre.
Regardless of his preference for the crime genre, Liotta occasionally showed off his versatility as an actor. He featured in several sitcoms and even voiced a parody of himself in the animated film “Bee Movie.” At the time of his death, Liotta was filming a new movie in the Dominican Republic.
He Regrets Not Working With Him Again
The heartfelt article by the “Wolf of Wall Street” director on his experience and interactions with the late actor is only one of several celebrity tributes that have poured out since his death.
In his tribute, Scorsese also shared a memory of when Liotta showed off his devotion to his role as Henry. He said Liotta insisted on shooting one of his very important scenes even after he had just received some tragic family news right before they started filming.
However, despite his glowing statements about Liotta, Scorsese never worked with the actor after “Goodfellas,” which he said is one of his greatest regrets. He also said he wished he met up with Liotta one more time just “to tell him just how much the work we did together meant to me.”
Scorsese Loved And Respected Liotta
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Regardless of the number of times they worked together, one thing was clear from Scorsese’s article: he really respected and loved Liotta. He also shared his admiration of the “Wild Hogs” actor’s career after “Goodfellas.”
With how long and detailed the tribute was, it is clear that Scorsese wanted to do more than just issue a generic statement about the passing of someone as iconic as Liotta. Liotta’s death was a big shock to many fans of him, and “Goodfellas” and Scorsese’s tribute can be a form of a bittersweet closure for them.
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