- In: Culture
- Published on 17 September 2012
- By James
When De Niro read for the part of Sonny Corleone in 1971 he was a little-known actor who's star was about to be on the rise. In just 18 months he would have both the role of Bruce Pearson in Bang The Drum Slowly and Johnny Boy in Mean Streets under his belt (a role that this screen test feels a lot like). Coppola absolutely loved the reading, but felt he was actually too vicious and therefore not marketable. As we all know, the role went to James Caan, but Coppola loved De Niro so much he gave him the part of young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. Take a look at this short screen test. It's brutally awesome.