“Because of my career, everyone assumes I’m Italian,” said the late “Goodfellas” star, “but I’ve recently realized that I’m actually mostly Irish.”
According to Elizabeth Banks, Ray Liotta was at an emotional peak during the filming of Cocaine Bear.
The late ‘Goodfellas’ actor, who died unexpectedly in his sleep in May 2022, wowed the ‘Cocaine Bear’ cast and crew at the end of the production, giving a moving speech about what the production in Ireland meant to him.
“He wrapped up his last scene and was covered in blood and guts — and then he gave this beautiful speech,” Banks said. Noble. “He said: I was adopted. My last name is Liotta, and because of my career, everyone assumes I’m Italian, but I recently found out that I’m actually mostly Irish. And we are in Ireland.”
Banks continued: “He said, ‘So this trip was so special to me because I didn’t understand what kind of connection I really had with this place and the people of Ireland. And everyone was so nice. I could tear up thinking about how touched everyone was. He really brought tears to the crew’s eyes because he talked about how special the time was in Ireland.”
“Charlie’s Angels” helm previously said People that Liotta was “so happy to get involved” in the filming of “Cocaine Bear”. Banks noted that Liotta and his fiancée, Jacy Nittolo, “looked like teenage lovers” while on set.
“(That’s) the image I have of him,” Banks recalled. “Not from the set or playing the character, but the fact that he was living his best life in Ireland on this beautiful night, walking down this street with a woman he loved.”
Banks previously collaborated with Liotta on the 2011 comedy The Details, which led to his casting as Cocaine Bear.
“People (in Hollywood) said to me, ‘I don’t know if you can direct these things because I don’t know if you have male actors following you,'” Banks said. Yahoo! Entertainment. “And to that I say, ‘If Henry Hill follows you, you can make anything you want. So that was the gift Ray gave me. It gave me the confidence to know that I could lead anyone in anything.”
Martin Scorsese, Taron Egerton, David Chase, Jamie Lee Curtis, Alessandro Nivola, Lorraine Bracco and Viola Davis also remembered the actor after his sudden death last year.
“Playing Henry Hill in ‘Goodfellas’ was a big task because the character had so many different sides, so many complex layers,” shared director Scorsese, “and Ray was involved in almost every scene of a long, hard shoot.” I was completely blown away and will always be proud of the work we did together on this picture. My heart goes out to your loved ones and it hurts to lose them too soon.”
Liotta’s “Goodfellas” co-star Robert De Niro also wrote at the time: “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is too young to leave us.”
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