Fact: Joe Pesci had stopped trying to resurrect his up and down acting career. Right before the gloves were on the mantle, he receives a visit from Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
Joe Pesci has always been the actor known for playing tough and volatile characters. He has played in movies like Raging Bull (1980), Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). That being said, Pesci was on the verge of committing acting suicide by hanging up his acting gloves. Year after finishing the movie “The Death Collector” (1976), it seemed clear to Pesci that he would never get a solid foot inside the acting arena.
It just so happened that Robert De Niro had seen the movie and brought the film to the attention of Martin Scorsese, who was looking for a character to play Joey La Motta in Raging Bull (1980). It was only by chance that the two of them got a hold of the video and resurrecting the life of Joe Pesci, which ultimately saved his career. Scorsese and De Niro made a phone call to Pesce and persuaded him to take the role.
As a result, Pesci would win the BAFTA Film Award for Newcomer to Leading Film Roles in 1981 and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.