Goodfellas Acting Style


Three actors from Goodfellas that I chose are Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta. In regards to how I would classify these actors, I would classify them all as Realistic actors.

In this film all three actors are to portray actual people that have been in the mob and have done what they do. As said in our text “ this is acting that doesn’t draw attention to itself but instead gives the impression of genuine human action and reaction.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs, 2014). For something like this it is imperative that the actors make it known that they are not just actors but real mobsters and walk the walk so to speak. While all three actors did a phenomenal job in Goodfellas lets look at De Niro and Pesci. Both have done such a good job playing gangsters that for quite some time they really played those roles exclusively it seems. The main reasons for this is due to them being able to develop such a deep connection with these types of characters.

Not long after beginning courses at P.S. 41 in Greenwhich Village, De Niro proved to be uninterested in school all together and, as a teenager, joined a rather tame Italian street gang that gave him the nickname “Bobby Milk,” in reference to his pale complexion. While De Niro was by all accounts only a very modest troublemaker, the gang provided him with ample experience to skillfully portray Italian mobsters as an actor. (Bio)


Even though Robert De Niro has played many roles as hangsters, he has also played other types of roles later in his career. In movies like Meet The Parents, Silver Linings Playbook and The Grudge Match, he has had a chance to show a different type of acting. Not a different style of acting per say but a different side of him as an actor. Like in Silver Lining Playbook, he played “an obsessive-compulsive Philadelphia Eagles fan trying to reconnect with his bipolar son when he’s not busy making   elaborate playoff bets, has been hailed as a comeback for an actor who long ago entered his profession’s pantheon.” (Brent Lang, 2012)

This role, while still needing to have a realism type acting style, really was able to bring out a different side of him altogether. Even though I do still see that old gangster, I also see that he really does have the ability to be very versatile.


Robert De Niro on Finding ‘Silver Linings’ in Mental Illness – but Not in Football Brent Lang (2012) Retrieved from

Robert De Niro Jr. (2014). Retrieved from The website. from

Silver Linings Playbook- Robert De Niro Lost his bet (2013) Thanh Khiết Trần(Uploader) Retrieved from

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From Watching to Seeing. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s