It Was History in the Making: The Inside Story of Goodfellas

The Moment Scorsese Knew Ray Liotta Was Right for the Part

Martin Scorsese saw Liotta in the film Something Wild and really liked him. And when he met him, he knew he would be right for the role. Scorsese described the moment that occurred during a night at the Venice Film Festival: “I was walking across the lobby of the hotel… I had a lot of bodyguards around me. Ray approached me… 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.”


Screening of ‘Goodfellas’ – Ray Liotta and Martin Scorsese. Photo By Bei/Shutterstock

Scorsese explained that he liked Liotta’s behavior in that moment. He thought, “Oh, he understands that kind of situation.” It would be something that he wouldn’t have to explain to him. But the process of bringing on Liotta was long. “I was new,” Liotta explained. “I’d only done three movies at the time.”

© 2019 History by Day all rights reserved