This producer of high-toned genre films of the late 1980s and 90s usually worked in collaboration with Martin Scorsese (her husband from 1985-91). After dropping out of Barnard College, De Fina got he...
Studio chiefs were desperate to cast Cruise in the role of mobster Henry Hill and Madonna was wanted to play his wife - until Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco won over Scorsese and the movie's producers.
Speaking to GQ magazine on Goodfellas' 20th anniversary, producer Irwin Winkler admits, "Tom Cruise was discussed. Marty wanted Ray... Frankly I thought we could do a lot better and then me and my wife were having dinner one night in a restaurant and lo and behold, Ray Liotta came over to me. He said, 'Look, I know you don't really want me for it, but...' And he sold me on the role right that evening. I called Marty the next morning."
Bracco beat out Madonna for the role of Karen Hill, despite Scorsese initially favouring the Material Girl.
Fellow producer Barbara De Fina says, "Madonna seemed to be in the mix. I remember that we went to see her in the play Speed-the-Plow. Marty said hello to her afterwards. Can you imagine? Tom Cruise and Madonna? But Marty can get a performance out of almost anyone."
Worked as unit manager on Sidney Lumet's "Prince of the City"
Served as executive producer for Scorsese's "GoodFellas"
Served as associate producer on Sean S. Cunningham's "Spring Break" (also worked as unit production manager)
Worked as post-production supervisor on "The King of Comedy"; first collaboration with Martin Scorsese
Worked as a production coordinator on "The Next Man"
Produced Scorsese's "Bad" video for Michael Jackson
Co-produced "The Grifters" with Scorsese
First "Cappa/De Fina Productions" picture, "The Age of Innocence", released
Produced Scorsese's "The Color of Money"
Served as 2nd assistant director on "Gilda Live"
This producer of high-toned genre films of the late 1980s and 90s usually worked in collaboration with Martin Scorsese (her husband from 1985-91). After dropping out of Barnard College, De Fina got her start in the industry as a production assistant on such films as "Little Murders" (1971), "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" (1974) and "An Unmarried Woman" (1978). She swiftly climbed the industry ladder to executive producer by working in a variety of capacities, such as production coordinator ("The Next Man", 1976; Woody Allen's "Interiors", 1978), assistant director ("Gilda Live", 1980) and unit manager ("Prince of the City", 1981), on over twenty films. De Fina was also an associate producer on staff for comedian Alan King.<p> De Fina got her first credit as an associate producer on "Spring Break" (1982) and "The New Kids" (1985), both low-budget genre productions of exploitation auteur Sean S Cunningham (best known as the producer-director of "Friday the 13th" 1980). She first worked with Scorsese in 1983, as post-production supervisor on "The King of Comedy", and followed up with a succession of Scorsese projects. De Fina was co-producer of the poolroom drama "The Color of Money" (1986), Michael Jackson's music video "Bad" (1987), the controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), Scorsese's "Life Lessons" segment of "New York Stories" (1989) and the dark thriller "Cape Fear" (1991).<p> De Fina graduated to executive producing with Scorsese's commercial breakthrough "GoodFellas" (1990). That same year, she executive produced Stephen Frear's "The Grifters", the first feature from Scorsese's production company and the English filmmaker's first film shot in the U.S. Although De Fina and Scorsese split up personally in 1991, they continued working together professionally. The two co-produced John McNaughton's gangster comedy "Mad Dog and Glory" (1993), and--under the newly-formed Cappa/De Fina Productions--De Fina co-produced the Scorsese-directed "The Age of Innocence" (1993) and "Casino" (1995).
Met while filming "The King of Comedy" (1983); Married Feb. 8, 1985; She executive produced his film "GoodFellas" (1990); Divorced in 1991; Continued working together in "The Age of Innocence" (1993) after they split