I regret not working with Ray Liotta again

Martin Scorsese is reflecting on his time with “Goodfellas” actor and old friend Ray Liotta, who died in the Dominican Republic late last month at the age of 67.

The Oscar-winning director, 79, wrote an op-ed for the Guardian to pay tribute to Liotta and expressed regret that he hadn’t worked enough with him in his lifetime.

“We had many plans to work together again, but the timing was always wrong or the project wasn’t quite right. I regret it now,” Scorsese wrote.

The filmmaker directed the Shades of Blue star in the 1990 mafia drama Goodfellas.

Scorsese continued, “When I saw Ray as a divorce attorney in ‘Marriage Story’ – he’s really scary in the role and that’s exactly why he’s so funny.”

“I remember feeling like at this point in his life I wanted to work with him again, to explore the gravity in his presence, so different from the young, vivacious actor he was when I saw him met,” continued the director of The Departed.

GOODFELLAS, Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, Director Martin Scorsese, Joe Pesci, 1990 © W
Goodfellas stars Ray Liotta (far left), Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci with director Martin Scorsese (second from right) in 1990.
© Warner Bros./Courtesy of Everett C

“I wish I could have seen him just one more time – to tell him how much our work together means to me. But maybe he knew that. I hope so,” he added.

Scorsese also described how “fearless” Liotta was on the set of “Goodfellas” when the actor found out his mother was dying just before shooting a scene. While Scorsese demanded that Liotta leave filming to be with his ailing mother, the New Jersey native refused, opting to film instead.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 4: Director Martin Scorsese participates in a Q&A session at a screening for Netflix "The Irishman" at the Egyptian Theater on January 04, 2020 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
“We had many plans to work together again, but the timing was always wrong or the project wasn’t quite right. I regret it now,” Scorsese wrote in an op-ed for the Guardian.
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“The word ‘fearless’ is often used to describe actors, and with good reason: actors need to be fearless,” explained Scorsese. “They have to jump in and just go for it, and they have to stumble and fail and risk looking ridiculous while making their way into a role. That’s just part of the job.”

“On ‘Goodfellas’ we worked on improvisation in most of the scenes and many members of the crew knew each other and worked together for years, including my mother and father. Then the new guy, Ray Liotta, walked in and he never missed a shot. It felt like we had worked together for years,” he wrote.

The Shades of Blue actor died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic last month.
AFP via Getty Images

The Boardwalk Empire producer shared a touching statement on May 26 following the death of the Field of Dreams alumnus: “I am absolutely shocked and devastated by the sudden, unexpected death of Ray Liotta. He was so uniquely gifted, so adventurous, so daring as an actor.”

“He absolutely amazed me and I will always be proud of the work we did together on this picture [‘Goodfellas’]. My heart goes out to his loved ones and I grieve for his loss far too soon,” Scorsese said.

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