As anyone who has ever witnessed Martin Scorsese’s domestic documentary Italianamerican can attest, his mother, Catherine Scorsese, is a force to be reckoned with. In Goodfellas that was put to the test when a group of gangsters stopped in for supper.
In the iconic scene, Joe Pesci plays Catherine Scorsese’s son as they casually stop in during the midst of a nefarious crime, to seek sanctity in the comfort of her home. It is a riotous scene, that imbued the movie with a darkly humanised undercurrent. Now, Scorsese has declared that it was as improvised as a college student in the kitchen.
“When people talk about improvisation, this really was improvisation,” Martin Scorsese told Entertainment Weekly, “Once we started shooting, she picked up on something and started speaking. Joe answered her, Bob [De Niro] did what he did, Ray [Liotta] did what he did, I had two cameras, we’re in a small house in Queens, and I think the only written line was about a painting that she did.”
Marty later added: “The key there is ultimately the warmth between all of them and particularly my mother playing his mother; he may be a psychopathic killer, but he’s still her son.”
His mother also appeared on screen in almost all of his movies ranging from background scenes to cameos as well as featuring in other projects like The Godfather Part III, before she passed away in 1997.
Currently, Martin Scorsese is working on his epic western murder mystery Killers of the Flower Moon which began filming a few weeks ago. For the exciting project, he reunited with his old favourite leads Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.