GQ sits down with the cast and crew of Goodfellas, twenty years later:
Scorsese: When I asked Joe to be in the film, he didn't want to do it. We went up to my apartment, and he said, "Let me tell you a couple of stories. If you could find a place for this sort of thing, then I think we could make it special."
Liotta: Joe was working at some restaurant in the Bronx or Brooklyn. He said to some wiseguy, "You're funny," and the guy kind of turned it on him.
Scorsese: Joe acted it out. Then we did a rehearsal with Ray and Joe and put it on audiotape, and I constructed the scene from the transcripts and gave it to them to hit those levels, the different levels of questioning and how the tone changes. It was never in the script.