Martin Scorsese: My Mother Was ‘Really Improvising’ Her Entire ‘Goodfellas’ Scene

Martin Scorsese: My Mother Was ‘Really Improvising’ Her Entire ‘Goodfellas’ Scene
Martin Scorsese’s late mother Catherine played a special role throughout his career, most famously in a cameo during one of the most memorable sequences of “Goodfellas.” Catherine appears in one scene as the mother of Joe Pesci’s psychopathic mobster Tommy DeVito. Tommy brings his fellow mobsters Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) back home to pick up a shovel so they can bury a dead body, only to run into Tommy’s mother when they enter the house. Scorsese reveals in an introduction for the virtual 2021 TCM Film Festival (via EW) that his mother’s appearance was entirely unscripted except for one line of dialogue.

“All we told her to do was just welcome her son home; she hasn’t seen him in a while,” Scorsese said. “The key there is ultimately the warmth between all of them and particularly my mother playing his
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