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Martin Scorsese is reflecting on his old friend and co-star Ray Liotta. The “Goodfellas” star, known for his role as Henry Hill, died in May at age 67 in the Dominican Republic.
The director, 79, wrote an op-ed for the Guardian to pay tribute the late actor and shared that he has some regrets on not working with Liotta again before he died.
“We had many plans to work together again but the timing was always off, or the project wasn’t quite right. I regret that now,” Scorsese wrote for the outlet.
Martin Scorsese is having some regrets after Ray Liotta’s death. The actor was 67. (Getty Images)
Scorsese directed Liotta in the hit crime drama “Goodfellas” that was released in 1990.
“When I watched Ray as the divorce lawyer in ‘Marriage Story’ – he’s genuinely scary in the role, which is precisely why he’s so funny,” Scorsese continued.
“I remember feeling that I wanted to work with him again at this point in his life, to explore the gravity in his presence, so different from the young, sprightly actor he was when I met him.”
Ray Liotta and Martin Scorsese attend the screening of “Goodfellas” on September 17, 1990, at Mann Bruin Theater in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
He added: “I wish I’d had the chance to see him just once more, too — to tell him just how much the work we did together meant to me. But maybe he knew that. I hope so.”
During his op-ed, Scorsese described Liotta as being “fearless” while on set of “Goodfellas,” specifically when Liotta received the news his mother was dying right before shooting a scene for the movie. Scorsese shared that he insisted Liotta leave set immediately to be with his mother, but Liotta refused.
“The word ‘fearless’ is used quite often to describe actors, and with good reason: Actors need to be fearless,” Scorsese said. “They have to jump in and just go, and they have to stumble and fail and risk appearing ridiculous as they’re finding their way into a role. That’s just part of the work.”
“On ‘Goodfellas,’ we were working improvisationally in most scenes, and many members of the team had known each other and worked together for years, including my mother and my father. Into that walked the new guy, Ray Liotta, and he never missed a beat. It felt like we’d worked together for years,” he recalled.
(L-R) Ray Liotta, Martin Scorsese and Paul Sorvino attend the screening of “Goodfellas.” The legendary director honored Liotta in an op-ed he penned for the Guardian. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Many of Liotta’s peers and co-stars paid tribute to the star after his death.
Robert De Niro told Fox News Digital, “I was very saddened to learn of Ray’s passing. He is way too way young to have left us. May he Rest in Peace.”
Liotta’s “Goodfellas” co-star Joe Pesci told Fox News Digital in a statement, “God is a Goodfella, and so is Ray.”
Janelle Ash is an entertainment writer for Fox News Digital.