Many Saints of Newark has just been released in theaters. Therefore, it is time to take a look at some misinformation that is circulating a lot about Ray Liotta. No, he was not the first choice to play Tony Soprano!
Before being a legend of crime, Tony Soprano made his ranges with his uncle, Dickie Moltisanti. In an explosive context of gang warfare, this intractable godfather opened the doors of the mafia to his nephew. Here is the story told to us by Many Saints of Newark, prequel to the cult series The Sopranos.
In the film, Ray Liotta plays Hollywood Dick Moltisanti, Dickie’s father and formidable mafia boss. The actor, known in particular for having played Henry Hill in Goodfellas, wanted to work at all costs with David Chase, creator of the Sopranos.
“I really wanted to work with David Chase, it hadn’t worked the time before on The Sopranos. It wasn’t won, I had to go to New York to meet him, and I live in Los Angeles. I asked my agent if he could arrange a meeting with him for a role in the film.
He didn’t promise me anything by agreeing to the meeting, I just wanted to sit down opposite Chase and director Alan Taylor and offer them my services. Luckily, we had a great time, we had lunch together, and at the end, they asked me if I wanted to play Hollywood Dick Moltisanti “, revealed the actor to our microphone.
The actor also denied rumors that he refused to camp Tony Soprano before James Gandolfini was chosen. This information circulates a lot on the web and turns out to be absolutely false.
“I’ve heard that so many times, I don’t know where it came from. David Chase never offered to play Tony for me. He wanted me to play a character for a few episodes and he came to see me for that years ago. In the end, it couldn’t be done. So no, I was never approached to play Tony and I can’t imagine anyone other than James Gandolfini in the role. He was perfect. “, explains Ray Liotta.
“There was never any question of Ray Liotta playing Tony. We thought of him to camp Ralphie Cifaretto but he declined the offer”, says David Chase. “Ray Liotta’s name was probably mentioned while we were in discussions to get the show started.
The rumor must come from there. But you know, back then, acting in a series was frowned upon for a movie actor. It is surely for this reason that Ray did not accept the role of Ralphie., adds the creator of the Sopranos. This character will finally be played by Joe Pantoliano in seasons 3 and 4.
Interview by Emmanuel Itier in Los Angeles