I just received an advanced copy of Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto by David Kushner. I’ve never played the game, but I always wondered how the creators landed Ray Liotta for the voice of Vercetti in Vice City.
To inject personality into such a big world, they needed just the right actor—Ray Liotta, whom they’d been obsessed with since Goodfellas.
[Jamie] King hit the phones, hustling with his usual determination and style. It wasn’t easy. King kept getting told that Liotta was looking to change his reputation and do a family film. Finally, he got through to a sympathetic young Hollywood agent. Next thing he knew, they were sitting at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse in Brooklyn with Liotta himself, drinking and laughing and effusing about how much they loved his films. Then suddenly Liotta went cold for no reason, staring them down. “Why the fuck are you laughing?” he snapped.
The guys gulped. Liotta cracked up. “I’m fucking with you!” he said.
“He totally Goodfellaed us!” King said.
Kushner’s previous work, Masters of Doom, was a good read (and which I mentioned in my treatise on Civilization). This is probably as good and worth checking out—that is, if you’re into this sort of thing.