TITLE: GoodFellas

WRITER: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese

DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese

MAJOR ACTORS: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci


The three main actors in GoodFellas have seemingly similar acting styles, but if one were to look at their acting career; Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci do have some dissimilarities.  Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci can be classified as personality actors and Robert De Niro as a wild card; all of whom can not be denied they are stars as well.  Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci too often correlated and regulated to hard-nosed, tough guy, or shady characters in films.  They seem to be very talented individuals with the mindset that, of the two, Ray Liotta seems to be the one pegged as the wise guy/rough neck character for movies.  I will defend this a bit as he did play a great role as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Field of Dreams.  In regards to these individuals and GoodFellas, their acting skills seemed to be the utilization of realistic acting.

Scene: Now go home and get your shinebox

This scene showed the actors intensity and devotion to their assigned character!  Martin Scorsese, might I add, also allowed for the actors to ad-lib which made a greater impact for them to immerse themselves into their roles without having to remember lines and gave them the freedom to ‘become’ their characters.

Of the three actors, Robert De Niro is the actor that seems to challenge and immerse himself into any role that he takes on.  Goodykoontz and Jacobs (2011) state, “the Method requires that actors draw on their own memories and experiences to reach the heart of a character, so that they more genuinely feel the emotions they’re portraying instead of just pretending to” (3.7).  It can be inferred that he sacrifices his own individuality while maintaining the integrity of his acting style to make most of his films highly sought after.


Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2011). Film: From watching to seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.  Retrieved from:

LordValarium. (2012, June 23). Now go home and get your shinebox [Video file]. Retrieved from


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