Since kicking off his film career in the romantic drama “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” for first-time filmmaker Martin Scorsese in 1967, actor Harvey Keitel has had a storied run over five-plus decades in showbiz. He’s worked with some of the industry’s most celebrated auteur directors, including Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Ridley Scott. His work spans multiple genres, however it’s his roles in crime thrillers like “Bugsy,” “The Irishman” and now, “Lansky” — new in theaters and video on demand — that have arguably defined his success and his impact on the industry.
In an exclusive interview with Looper, Keitel opened up about his latest foray into the organized crime sub-genre. Interestingly, he said he approaches his mob characters just like any other role he chooses to tackle. “It’s an opportunity. I mean, I don’t engage myself in these kinds of movies because they’re mob movies. To me, they’re stories that take place in a mob milieu. So, it’s what experience I can gather from entering into the idea of trying to create this character. That’s my gift that I have, that I received, the opportunity to invade myself if you will, to slaughter myself, to resurrect myself, and hopefully in that, come up with some relationship to the character.”