Ray Liotta Chooses to Play Character of Hollywood Dick of ‘Many Saints of Newark’ Over ‘Sopranos’?

When talking about the character of Sopranos, he earnestly stated that he didn’t really remember his name or even recall the character. However, what he does remember is how he turned down the role of Sopranos. After starring in Goodfellas, Ray Liotta was very vocal about wanting to do something different, which is why he decided to turn the part down. When it comes to the role of “Hollywood Dick,” Liotta fought his way to play the character in “The Many Saints of Newark,” which is the newly released prequel of Sopranos.

Doing Something Different

Liotta, who is now 66, says that he placed the part of “Hollywood Dick” in the movie on a different level. In fact, Liotta is now playing two different roles in The Many Saints of Newark. Liotta put the rumors to rest that the Sopranos character discussed was never that of Tony Soprano.

The Reality

Back in the year 2000, Liotta had a discussion with Chase about playing the role of Ralphie, a soldier in the DiMeo crime family, after Chase came to meet him on the set of Hannibal, all the way to Richmond. Chase revealed that after having a discussion about the role, Liotta decided not to play the role of Ralphie. Liotta says that at the time, he was thinking of doing some other things, claiming that you never know what opportunity you may get or have taken away from you.

Fighting For the Part In ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Since then, Liotta’s restriction on playing characters affiliated with Mafia has come to an end. After reading the script, Liotta pursued a role on Many Saints. Liotta recalls asking his agent why he hadn’t received a call for casting on the film. After dining with Alan Taylor, the director, and Chase, Liotta received the role of “Hollywood Dick.”

The Role of “Hollywood Dick”

At face value, the role is quite different from what you think of it as. Within the family tree of Sopranos, Hollywood Dick is Michael Imperioli’s grandfather. The character earned the title of Hollywood Dick, due to the connections he has in the show business. It is also interesting to note that the character isn’t a full member of the Mafia. However, Hollywood Dick is known to have deep connections with Cosa Nostra, has a lot of money, and is a suave and smart man. The character is married to Giuseppina, portrayed by Michela De Rossi.

Working For the Role

As the character within the film is seen to be enjoying the wealth that he has accumulated after being part of organized crime for a long time, Liotta had to play the role of a much fatter man. So, not only did Liotta wear a fat suit on set, but to make his face look bloated naturally, Liotta also increased the amount of sodium he took in his diet.

Liotta’s role within the film doesn’t just end there as he also has double duty on set as he also plays the role of Hollywood Dick’s brother. The brother is, in fact, a surprise character who is imprisoned. This character serves as a grim warning.