When it comes to iconic films, Goodfellas is one that undoubtedly makes the list. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, tells the story of Henry Hill, a mobster who becomes an FBI informant. Ray Liotta was chosen to play the lead role of Henry Hill, but Scorsese was initially hesitant about the choice.
In an interview with Variety, Scorsese admitted that he wasn’t entirely convinced that Liotta had all the qualities necessary to play the role.
Henry Hill had to be authoritative yet innocent and charming to balance out the violence in the film, and Scorsese wasn’t sure Liotta could pull it off.
It wasn’t until a chance encounter at the Venice Festival that Scorsese’s opinion changed. Scorsese had hired private security to avoid controversy surrounding his film The Last Temptation of Christ, and Liotta attempted to approach him to say hello.
Security prevented him from doing so, but Liotta handled the situation with calm and politeness. This interaction convinced Scorsese that Liotta had the perfect characteristics to play Henry Hill.
Liotta’s performance in Goodfellas was indeed memorable, and the film is now considered a classic. On February 25, 2023, Liotta was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor well-deserved for the talented actor who passed away in May 2022 while filming a movie in the Dominican Republic.
At the ceremony, Liotta’s daughter was accompanied by actor Taron Egerton, who worked with Liotta on the Apple TV+ series Black Bird, and director Elizabeth Banks, who directed Liotta in the film Vicious Bear.
Liotta’s legacy lives on, and his portrayal of Henry Hill in Goodfellas will always be remembered as one of his greatest performances.