DID YOU READ

5 Revelations From the Goodfellas Reunion

Goodfellas Cast

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On Saturday night, April 25th, the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival closed out its festivities with a Goodfellas reunion. While director Martin Scorsese couldn’t attend, writer Nicholas Pileggi — who cowrote the screenplay with Scorsese and penned the book Wiseguy which was the basis for the film — joined principal cast members Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino on stage at the Beacon Theatre in New York City following a special screening of the classic mobster film.

Stories were swapped, jokes were made and The Daily Show‘s own Jon Stewart hosted the whole damn thing. If you weren’t there to take in the glory of such a reunion of talent, here are five major takeaways from the frivolity.

1. Not Everyone Was a Fan of Goodfellas

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

Warner Bros./Everett Collection

Though Scorsese couldn’t be there, the acclaimed filmmaker sent over a pre-recorded video message for the audience. “I remember the previews were one of the worst experiences of my life,” he said in the video. “It seemed that the audience had to be prepared for what it was, but there was a lot of controversy.” By “controversy,” Scorsese means the backlash that came in portraying Italian-Americans as mobsters. In fact, the owner of an Italian restaurant the director and Pileggi loved refused them service after Goodfellas came out, “because we apparently denigrated a certain ethnic group for the picture.”


2. The Origin of the Famous “Funny How” Scene

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This is arguably the film’s most famous scene, and it became as good as it is because the actors improvised much of it. As Joe Pesci was also unable to attend the reunion, Liotta recollected his experience speaking with “a connected” man in Queens prior to the shoot. Upon hearing of the exchange, Scorsese worked it into the script, though he had to pull back Pesci when he went “off book.”


3. Pileggi Didn’t Believe Scorsese Wanted To Make Goodfellas

Lev Radin, Everett Collection

Lev Radin, Everett Collection

Goodfellas is based on Pileggi’s novel Wiseguy, which caught the eye of Scorsese. Apparently, the Oscar-winning director attempted to contact the writer multiple times, but Pileggi wouldn’t answer. He thought the whole thing was a joke. “I never thought it was Marty calling,” he said. “I was at New York Magazine at the time, and I’d get these little pink slips that would say, ‘Call Martin Scorsese.’ I thought it was David Denby, who was the movie critic at New York Magazine, so I didn’t respond.”


4. Paul Sorvino Almost Quit

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Veteran actor Paul Sorvino famously portrayed Paulie Cicero in Goodfellas, but even after he landed the role, he almost quit. As he remembers it, he told his manager that he wanted to leave production three days before it was scheduled to start. According to Sorvino, he just couldn’t wrap his head around his character and the contradictions within him. He ultimately changed his mind after — get this — he accidentally made a weird face in the mirror while fiddling with his tie.


5. There’s a Method to the Ketchup Madness

Everything in Goodfellas has a method to its madness, even that ketchup bottle. Pileggi reached back out to Henry Hill, the subject of Wiseguy, to find out how Jimmy “The Gent” Conway got the ketchup out of bottles. The answer can be found with De Niro, who’s seen rolling it in his hands in the meal scene at Tommy’s house.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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