“I still kind of feel like I haven’t arrived,” Ray Liotta says during an interview in support of his new film “The Identical.”
It’s a jarring statement from the 59-year-old Hollywood veteran with credits ranging from “Goodfellas” to “Hannibal.”
It’s also a telling one, as few actors appear to relish the craft quite like Liotta, who can be counted on to give a unique and memorable performance in even the most forgettable of movies.
“I still have fun with it and I like the challenge,” Liotta says of acting for the screen. “As I get older, I feel the work is getting deeper and fuller. My career, like most people’s careers, has had ups and downs, where there’ve been hot periods and cooling off periods. Because I think I’m so competitive it keeps my drive going.”
You’d have a tough time missing Liotta this year, as his impressive roster of current and upcoming pictures include “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” the recent “Muppets Most Wanted” and the soon-to-be released drama “Kill the Messenger.”
He’s a big fan of “The Identical,” about twins separated at birth who go on to become, respectively, a rock star and a young man driven to become a music star in his own right. Liotta plays the latter’s adopted father, a preacher intent on his son following him into the ministry.
Liotta, adopted himself, related to the story from that standpoint but also found himself intrigued by the prospect of playing a preacher.
He watched clips of Billy Graham to prepare for his part in the film, opening Friday, admiring the minister’s “passion for what he was saying.”
The actor doesn’t spend a lot of time reflecting on the past, though he is receiving a tribute at the Deauville Film Festival in France this weekend. To have been such integral parts of movies like “Goodfellas” and “Field of Dreams” that mean a lot to so many people is “extremely gratifying,” Liotta says, “but I don’t wear it as a badge. … I’m just on to the next.”