Ray Liotta states that he never turned down a role on The Sopranos back in the day. Liotta stars in the prequel to the television series, The Many Saints Of Newark, as Aldo “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti alongside Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Michela De Rossi, John Magaro, Vera Farmiga, and Michael Gandolfini, who will portray a young Tony Soprano. The movie will feature the reign of the DiMeo crime family and the rise of Tony as he is led by his gangster uncle, Dickie Moltisanti, and is co-written by The Sopranos creator David Chase.
The Sopranos ran for six seasons from 1999, and revolved around Tony Soprano as a ruthless and depressed crime boss attending therapy, with Falco portraying his wife Carmela. It is widely regarded as one of the best television dramas in history due to the complexity of its immoral characters, winning multiple awards for stars Gandolfini, Edie Falco, and the show itself for Chase. The series is known and praised for its casting, particularly with actors who have played mobsters in the past or have appeared in similar projects.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Liotta clears up rumors that he turned down a role in the series by confirming that he had spoken to Chase about potentially appearing on The Sopranos midway through its run, but ultimately, it was not able to work out. Liotta also talks about The Many Saints Of Newark and how it stands on its own from the show. Read what Liotta said below:
“No, I never was offered anything in it. David Chase wanted me to do something in season 3 or 4, but it didn’t work out. I have watched some of The Sopranos – not all of it. But the good thing about this movie is you don’t have to watch the series in order to appreciate the movie.”
It is understandable why Chase would want Liotta to have a part in the series. Liotta is still best known for his starring role as Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 biographical gangster film, Goodfellas, which also featured The Sopranos alum Lorraine Bracco as his wife Karen. Goodfellas also featured Michael Imperioli in a scene, who later went on to play Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos. Even though Liotta was unable to appear in The Sopranos, he and Chase got the chance to work together on this upcoming film.
As part of its release in theaters, The Many Saints Of Newark will also simultaneously stream on HBO Max for 31 days, so viewers will also have a chance to watch it at home. The movie shines a light on the legacy for The Sopranos and the lasting impact it has had on audiences and storytellers. There are many unknowns about the history of the crime life that influenced Tony Soprano, and it will be interesting to see what his boyhood was like and how Liotta’s character will play a part in that. The Many Saints Of Newark is set to premiere October 1.