Ray Liotta is a super nice guy. I promise.
Sure, you've seen him crack heads in "Good Fellas" and act crazy in a slew of other films like "Something Wild."
He's a really nice guy. Calm. Sweet. It's called acting.
"I have done a lot of different roles, but the ones that stand out in people's minds are the bad characters," says Liotta, now 57, calling from his Los Angeles home on a weekday morning.
"I guess, thank God we're basically just a good, decent society," says the star of "Killing Them Softly," with Brad Pitt. The movie opens today.
"When you see someone so far removed from those morals in a movie or on TV, it has an impact. I think audiences like to put themselves in the position of the bad guy as a fantasy.
"I don't really have any secrets to playing a good bad guy. I just always do what the script tells me to do and commit to it."
RAY ON WORKOUT TIPS AT AGE 57 AND MEN'S SKIN CARE
It's funny to talk male grooming advice with tough guy Ray Liotta, but he's happy to address the issue.
I tell the Newark, New Jersey native: "You look ageless. What is the secret?"
To be honest, you're never sure if he's in his 40s or 50s these days.
Q: You never seem to age at all on screen. What's the secret of that one?
A: "Ageless? I don't know about that one, but I'll take it," Liotta says. "The truth is I don't do much to myself, but I do make an effort to stay out of the sun."
It's true that women observe that as a stay-younger secret. Liotta says that men have to pay attention to that bit of advice, too. (However, a little bit of sun does give you a nice daily dose of Vitamin D.)
He has some great men's skin care advice.
"Guys have to stay out of sun, too. It's one of the quickest ways to age your skin if you're out there getting a tan," he says.
Liotta says that moving is also key. He likes to hit the gym, insisting that it doesn't matter what you do. His best workout tips: Just move. "I workout a lot," he says. "I love it, so it never feels like a chore. Working out at any age gives you your sanity. At least that's what I believe."
"I think it's good for men to workout. It takes the edge off the day," he says.
It also helps him do very physical scenes like in his new movie "Killing Them Softly" with Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini.
RAY ON HIS NEW MOVIE "KILLING THEM SOFTLY"
In "Killing Them Softly," Brad Pitt stars as Jackie Cogan, a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that goes down at a mob protected poker game.
One of the stars of the movie is James Gandolfini, famously known for playing mob boss Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos."
What was it like when the Good Fella met the Soprano?
"I wish I had a better story to tell, but our paths never crossed," he says. "He filmed in a whole different state. But I've seen him over the year at events. We've met, but we never talk about 'that stuff.'"
That stuff meaning playing "made men."
"Oh, I've seen 'The Sopranos over the years. It was a great show," says Liotta who actually isn't the toughest of the lot in his new film.
All of his working out paid off for Ray in "Killing Them Softly" where he's the nicer of the guys who is being chased.
He's taking a major beating in one scene.
"It was physically demanding and exhausting because I didn't ask for a stunt guy. I was gung ho.
"My philosophy is it's better if the actor does the stunt if possible.
" I wanted it to be a case where you could keep the camera on my face the entire time," he says. "People are just so savvy about movies these days and how they're made. When you take the camera off the actor's face, people know it's probably a stunt double."
He filmed that scene for several days straight.
"We shot that for a few days straight…ouch," he says.
Does he ever think about doing a role that's easier on his 57-year-old bones? Something like Shoeless Joe Jackson, the role he played so well in "Field of Dreams."
"I play a preacher in an upcoming movie, but what I really want to do is a comedy," he insists.