Ray Liotta, who plays a mobster in "GoodFellas" ("From the time I was a kid, I always wanted to be with the mob," he says in the movie), wasn't worried about playing a bad guy. "Not after doing doing 'Dominic and Eugene' and 'Field of Dreams'," he said. "Those were very sympathetic roles."
He really has the lead role in "GoodFellas." Robert De Niro is the "star," but he has much less screen time than Liotta.
Martin Scorsese directed. That's a lot of name power, but Liotta said he wasn't intimidated. "I was more excited than intimidated," he said. "I want to make it as an actor rather than a celebrity, so who better to work with than these guys?"
He had read the book ("Wiseguy") and when he heard that Scorsese was going to do the film, went after the role. "Like all actors in Hollywood, I had to work to get it," he said. "I had heard that they were thinking about me. It was great to know they knew my work, but the producers wanted a name. They would rather have had Eddie Murphy, but Scorsese stuck to his guns."
We met in New York, and one of the reporters in the room picked up on the Italian thing. "I'm half Italian," he said. "My grandmother migrated to this country, but I don't have spaghetti stains on my shirt."
He says he isn't worried about people prying into his private life. "I don't know if I will have to deal with it, but I won't shy away from it. I did some soaps, so I had a taste of that."
He doesn't make that many films, about one a year. He said he is considering playing a cardiac surgeon in his next. "I'm sort of covering myself," he said.
"GoodFellas," winner of Academy Award nominations for both "best film" and "best director," may be seen at the Senator and the Westview theaters.
Baltimore will soon have its own movie tour at Brown's Wharf, 1615 Thames St. in Fells Point. The tour will be self-guided. It will take tourists to eight sites in and around Brown's Wharf, sites that were used in the filming of "Avalon," the third and most recent film Barry Levinson did in the Baltimore area.
You'll know what happened where. All you have to do is read the signs, which say things like "The Warehouse Fire," "The Streetcar Crash" and "The Fireworks Scene."
If you want additional information on the "Avalon" tour, call 992-7325.