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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.”

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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.

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“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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