Actor Gianni Russo discusses James Caan in the Godfather


It was only until James Caan inquired for a role in one of Gianni Russo’s films, that he was able to get in contact with the actor who played Carlo Rizzi in “The Godfather.”

When he was cast in the 1999 football drama Any Given Sunday, he says he got a phone call from Caan’s management.

“He said, ‘You know, Jimmy would be fantastic in this movie,'” Russo, 78, recalled the agent saying of the Al Pacino-led film. As a sports fanatic, he stands out.


“I asked, ‘Do you think I would employ James Caan?'” Russo said. ‘I wouldn’t cast Jimmy Caan in anything,’ someone once said. He treated me like a scumbag.”

He claims that Caan, who portrayed Sonny Corleone’s brother-in-law, was antagonistic to him from the first “Godfather” rehearsal at Patsy’s restaurant on West 119th Street, New York City.


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