Ray Liotta will soon make a triumphant return to the gangster genre with the Many Saints of Newark. He’s had a prolific career, yet still hasn’t seen one of his most popular movies. Here’s why.
Staying Off The Field
In an interview with GQ, Liotta went over his entire career. He got his big break simply by knowing Melanie Griffith. To hear Liotta put it, he was in the right place at the right time and secured his feature film debut in Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild.
Just one year before his life would be changed with Goodfellas, Liotta starred as Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Kevin Costner classic Field of Dreams. To this day, Liotta has not seen the film. It’s not because the flick lacks quality. It would just bring him back to a rough time.
Liotta says, “it has to do more with something personal that was going on at that time. When I did go to see it, my mother was sick and we couldn’t stay.” He doesn’t think he’ll ever see the movie either. His mother would pass away while Liotta filmed Goodfellas, so it’s understandable why he wouldn’t want to dwell on such a terrible event.
Some Additonal Trivia
Just because he didn’t see it doesn’t mean Liotta didn’t work hard on the film. A natural righty, Liotta was sent to USC so he could learn how to bat left-handed like Jackson. Demme visited to see Liotta’s bating progress once, and immediately put a stop to the training. The idea was that since Jackson never really came back from the dead, it didn’t matter which side Liotta batted on.
Comically, Liotta really didn’t think the script was impressive. “It just sounded so silly to me. I just didn’t get it,” Liotta said, “I learned quickly that I was wrong.” The Marriage Story star only took the role because he knew who else would do the film.
Food Enough For Legends
Costner was an old friend of Liotta’s from when they were both struggling actors. Screen titans like James Earl Jones and Burt Lancaster were doing the film, so Liotta was interested. As he put it, “I guess if they think it’s good, who am I to say it’s silly.” Lancaster and Jones were obviously correct, as Field of Dreams is an enduring hit. The flick was revisited for a genuinely special Major League baseball game earlier this year. Liotta was not in attendance, however.