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News movies & tv series 08 July 2024, 04:59

„The Guy's Nuts.” James Caan Allegedly Was Aggressive on The Set of The Godfather

Actor from The Godfather doesn't have the best opinion of James Caan, with whom his relationship didn't go well on the set. The artist complained that the Sonny Corleone actor was aggressive.

Source: The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola, Paramount Pictures, 1972

It turns out that James Caan not only played aggressive and troublesome characters, but he could be like that in private life as well. The actor had several memorable roles to his credit, but the one he is most associated with is certainly the one in The Godfather, where he played Sonny Corleone, the eldest son of Don Vito Corleone.

Sonny, of the entire Corleone family, was by far the most impulsive, and Gianni Russo, who played Carlo Rizzi, said the same about Caan. As Russo revealed in an interview for EW, his relationship with Caan began to weaken as the film's shooting progressed, culminating when they shot a memorable fight scene, during which not only the abusive husband of Don Vito Corleone's only daughter was beaten, but also the actor playing him.

Sonny and I had a problem all through the movie, on and off the set.

According to Russo, Caan may have been disturbed by his familiarity with Harlem, New York (and its residents), where they were filming, and it was the thing which likely "pissed [Caan] off" before the cameras were turned on.

We choreographed that scene for about a day and a half… Jimmy got a little aggressive, I would say, and he improvised a few things like that little billy club he threw at me when I came off the stoop. He hit me right in the head with that, and then he throws me over the railing and he's biting my hands… When I crawl out, he literally lifted me up with his kick… None of that was supposed to happen.

For Russo, filming this scene reportedly ended with a broken elbow and two ribs. So he doesn't have the best recollection of his collaboration with Caan, but he didn't complain to the producers because, as an actor at the beginning of his career, he didn't want to make problems that could damage his work. So he preferred to keep quiet. He summed up Caan years later with the words: “Jimmy and I are not friends at all, believe me. The guy's nuts.”

Edyta Jastrzebska

Edyta Jastrzebska

A graduate of journalism and social communication as well as cultural studies. She started at as one of the newspeople in the films department. Currently she oversees the Gamepressure movie&TV newsroom. She excels in the field of film and television, both in reality-based and fantasy themes. Keeps up with industry trends, but in her free time she prefers to watch less known titles. Has a complicated relationship with popular ones, which is why she only gets convinced about many of them when the hype around them subsides. Loves to spend her evenings not only watching movies, series, reading books and playing video games, but also playing text RPGs, which she has been into for several years.