James Caan is an American actor.


James Caan as Sonny.

Born in The Bronx in 1940, James Caan began his acting career in television, his first film role being a villain in Lady in a Cage and won praise for his role in The Rain People, also directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Appearing in The Godfather, Caan was widely praised for his portrayal of Sonny Corleone. He was known on set as a practical joker, and, together with Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando, began a penchant for mooning other cast members. He returned to play the role in flashback for Part Two for the same fee that he received in the first. He also participated in EA's The Godfather: The Game.

Characters voiced by James Caan

The Godfather: The Game

Voice description

Caan used his own voice for the game. Although his voice sounds deeper than it did in the film, not to mention his thicker accent and lisp, his delivery has the same energy as before. Caan did both a voiceover session and a faceover session to capture Caan's facial expressions while delivering his lines. The faceover session was made exclusively for the cutscenes while the voiceover sessions recorded lines uttered or spoken during gameplay. He was the only actor in the game to go through this process.


  • Originally Caan was to be cast as the main character Michael Corleone, while Carmine Caridi was signed as Sonny. However Coppola demanded that the role of Michael be played by Al Pacino instead. The studio agreed to Pacino but insisted on having Caan be cast as Sonny, so he remained in the production.[1]
  • During the making of The Godfather, James Caan was often seen in the company of future Colombo crime family boss Carmine Persico and other gangsters and had absorbed so many of their mannerisms that undercover agents thought for a while that he was just another rising young button in the Mob.[2]
  • Both Robert Duvall and James Caan also attended Carmine Persico's courth hearings together and payed attention to his mannerisms, gestures, diction and accent for their roles in the film.[3]
  • James Caan's parlance in The Godfather was the inspiration for the name of a strip club featured in The Sopranos, the "Bada Bing".[4]

Notes and references

  1. Seal, Mark. The Godfather Wars | Culture. Vanity Fair.
  2. Lebo, Harlan (2005). The Godfather Legacy. Fireside, 98. ISBN 0743287770.
  3. Raab, Selwyn (2005). Five Families. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312300948.
  4. Jones, Jenny M. (2007). The Annotated Godfather. Black Dog & Leventhal, p. 113. ISBN 1579128114.

External links

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