Martin Scorsese had no idea who Ray Romano was before HBO’s Vinyl

Ray Romano has worked with Martin Scorsese twice now, but the director had no idea who he even was prior to HBO’s Vinyl.

For decades, Martin Scorsese has been one of the most desired directors that nearly every actor wants to work with. But it’s not easy to land a Scorsese production, especially if you’re not even on his radar, as was the case with Ray Romano, despite having one of the most successful sitcoms of its time.

On a recent episode of the podcast WTF with Marc Maron, Romano recalled auditioning for Scorsese on HBO’s Vinyl, the short-lived series that circles the New York music scene of the 1970s. “Scorsese did the pilot and I had to go on tape for him. The cool thing was, I went on tape and the response we got back was, ‘Yeah, Marty likes it. He’s in the running. And Marty wants to know who he is. He’s never seen him…And my agent was like, ‘So he’s never seen the show?’ And they go, ‘No, no, no, he doesn’t know who the guy is,’ which was a blessing because he didn’t have to erase the sitcom character from his mind.”

As Romano admits, it’s not at all surprising that Scorsese never watched Everybody Loves Raymond…but to have never even heard of the actor? Come on, Marty, Welcome to Mooseport was a gem!

Ray Romano has clearly made a lasting impression on Martin Scorsese. Not only did he cast him on Vinyl and direct the actor in the pilot, but he would later give him a supporting part in 2019’s The Irishman, playing real-life attorney Bill Bufalino, a close associate of Jimmy Hoffa. But Romano recalls even that being an awkward experience at times, saying, “I got nothing from Scorsese and I got nothing from De Niro. The day is over, they’re going home!” He even had the feeling he could get whacked–or, rather, fired–any day. “I don’t know, man. I swear to God. I don’t know if De Niro is telling Scorsese, ‘We’ve got to get rid of this guy’ or whatever.” Movies as a whole are relatively uncommon for Romano, although he does have his directorial debut, Somewhere in Queens, out in theaters this week.

What did you think of HBO’s Vinyl? Would you have liked to see another season? Let us know in the comments section below!

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