Ray Liotta is prominently featured in Many Saints of Newark, but why does he play the separate characters of “Hollywood Dick” & Sal Moltisanti?
Warning! This article contains spoilers for The Many Saints of Newark.
Plenty of classic Sopranos characters appear in The Many Saints of Newark, but here’s why the legendary Ray Liotta plays two new ones in the prequel film. Fans of the widely-beloved HBO series have been eagerly — and sometimes, trepidatiously — awaiting the project since it was first confirmed. Now that it’s dropped on HBO Max, the franchise’s pseudo-origin story is generating a palpable buzz as viewers dissect callbacks, symbolism, and character appearances that reference the original show. Actor Ray Liotta, on the other hand, is a new addition to the universe’s storyline and cast — and he even makes an appearance as two separate men.
Liotta plays both “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti and his twin brother, Sal. The former Many Saints of Newark character is the main protagonist Dickie’s father, and the grandfather that Christopher never gets the chance to meet. And quite honestly, it’s for the best. He’s a terrible person: on top of being a gangster, he abuses his current wife, did the same to his former wife, and is also revealed to have been violent with Dickie when he was a boy. The full potential of Dickie’s fierce, unbridled temper — no doubt caused by his experiences with Hollywood Dick — is really fleshed out in the volatile moment where he brutally murders his father in a fit of both fresh and pent-up rage. It’s this event that leads both him and viewers to the deceased mob boss’s brother, Liotta’s Sal. Though he’s in prison for murder, where Dickie visits him, he contrasts his late brother in many ways.