Movies

Robert De Niro's failed 'Godfather' audition refuses to sleep with the fishes

Nov. 19, 2013 at 9:26 AM ET

Is there any role Robert De Niro can't take on and nail? It turns out there could be. The actor's failed audition tape for a part in "The Godfather" is making the rounds, and it's worth a look. After all, De Niro may not have landed a part in the first film of the trilogy, but his portrayal of a young Vito Corleone in "The Godfather Part 2" earned him a supporting actor Oscar.

But it was the role of the hot-tempered Santino "Sonny" Corleone that De Niro first tried out for and didn't get. In his audition tape, the actor — not even 30 at the time — played the part with a bit of lightness, not exactly the way the character comes across in the pages of Mario Puzo's 1969 novel of the same title. (It probably didn't help that he breaks character a bit at the end of his monologue.)

The role eventually went to James Caan, who received a supporting actor Oscar nod for his portrayal of Don Vito's oldest son.

De Niro most recently starred in "Last Vegas" alongside Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman. 

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