Ray Romano says Martin Scorsese never heard of him before 'Vinyl' audition

By Karen Butler
Ray Romano will soon be seen in Season 2 of "Get Shorty" and the Martin Scorsese film "The Irishman." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Ray Romano will soon be seen in Season 2 of "Get Shorty" and the Martin Scorsese film "The Irishman." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Everybody Loves Raymond and Parenthood alum Ray Romano told UPI that filmmaker Martin Scorsese had no idea who he was before Romano auditioned via videotape for the pilot of Scorsese's 2016 drama series Vinyl.

"I put myself on tape and then the feedback came back a day or two later from the casting director, 'He likes it and he's never heard of him.' So, my agent thought, 'Well, you mean, so, he's never seen the show (Everybody Loves Raymond.)' And the casting director clarified: 'No, no, no. He's never heard of him.'"


"I wasn't insulted by it," Romano said in a recent interview. "It actually worked in my favor because he was just looking at the tape."

Vinyl was canceled after one season and Romano went on to star in Get Shorty, which is back Sunday for its second season. But Scorsese, who directed Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, remembered Romano and cast him as Jimmy Hoffa's lawyer Bill Bufalino in his upcoming film, The Irishman, opposite the CGI-youthened actors Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro.


"It was surreal to be in Vinyl. It was even more surreal to be in The Irishman with De Niro and Pacino and Harvey Keitel and all that," Romano said. "It was scary. It was very frightening. ... It was crazy fun. It's not going to be out for a year and a half."

Romano's most recent roles, including his critically acclaimed turns in The Big Sick and Men of Certain Age, mark a shift toward a more serious tone for the 60-year-old standup comedian.

When did he realize his talents extended beyond comedy?

"What time is it? I'll let you know...

"Am I comfortable with it yet? Yeah, I think I'm experiencing as we go and I'm learning and getting better as we go. So, I think it's a work in progress," he said. "I still like doing comedy. I like the mixture. I like the dramedies now. I know this show (Get Shorty) is labeled a comedy, but it has its moments. So, the answer is, I'm still getting comfortable."

Co-starring Chris O'Dowd, Sean Bridgers, Lidia Porto and Goya Robles, Get Shorty is inspired by the novels of Elmore Leonard. Season 2 premieres Sunday on EPIX.


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