For many actors who play gangsters, playing a mobster character is one of the most challenging jobs of their careers. When a character is based on a real-life person, such as Al Capone or Frank Lucas, an actor has a larger-than-life reputation to live up to. But even if a mobster character is fictional, mob movies often require characters to behave in such extreme ways that it takes a special kind of preparation to get into character. On top of that, actors have to find ways to make mobsters sympathetic, even if they're also capable of doing terrible things.
Every actor has a different inspiration for how they portray mobsters, and they all have different approaches for how they inhabit them. Here are 12 actors who have discussed how they prepared to play film's most notorious criminals.
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Ray Liotta Listened To The Tapes Of Henry Hill Telling The Story That Inspired His Performance In ‘Goodfellas’Photo: Warner Bros.
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Joe Pesci Pulled The ‘How Am I Funny?’ Scene From ‘Goodfellas’ From An Encounter He Had With A Wiseguy As A WaiterPhoto: Warner Bros.
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