When Grand Theft Auto III was first released 15 years ago, one of its most significant achievements was how much more culturally connected it felt than any game before it. It took being a video game seriously and referenced major pop culture pillars, like Goodfellas and The Godfather, while managing to feel more like an epic-scale interactive movie than “just” a game. A huge part of that was due to the incredibly high standard of voice acting, and Rockstar pulled out all the stops, scoring recognizable Hollywood voices to bring their script to life. Not just big names, but bad-ass voices. Here are the major players in a game that is almost certainly one of the most influential of all time.
Actor: Frank Vincent
You know him from: The Sopranos, Goodfellas and Raging Bull.
Famous film quote: “Go home and get your fucking shine box.” – Goodfellas
GTA III role: Salvatore Leone
Bio: The paranoid don of the Leone Family, married to Maria Latore. “Mr. Big” puts a hit on you after Maria tells him, for some reason, you two are an item (you aren’t).
Classic GTA III quote: “Don’t play dumb with me, kid. I was playing dumb when your mother was still turning tricks.”
Trivia tidbit: Salvatore Leone is credited first in both Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, despite not being the protagonist in either of the games.
Actor: Joe Pantoliano
You know him from: Memento, The Sopranos and The Matrix.
GTA III role: Luigi Goterelli
Famous film quote: “Someone has to pay, Lenny. Somebody always pays.” – Memento
Bio: The owner of the Sex Club Seven business in the Red Light District that insists he’s a nightclub owner, not a pimp (he’s a pimp).
Classic GTA III quote: “There is a new high on the street, goes by the name of spank. Some wiseguy’s been introducing this trash to my girls down Portland Harbor. Go and introduce a bat to his face! I want compensation for this insult!”
Trivia tidbit: “Joey Pants” once said he regretted participating in the game because it was too violent, and he has kids (guess his murders in films were cool, though).
Actor: Michael Madsen
You know him from: Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and The Hateful Eight.
GTA III role: Toni Cipriani
Famous film quote: “Listen kid, I’m not gonna bullshit you, all right? I don’t give a good fuck what you know, or don’t know, but I’m gonna torture you anyway, regardless. Not to get information. It’s amusing, to me, to torture a cop. You can say anything you want cause I’ve heard it all before. All you can do is pray for a quick death, which you ain’t gonna get.” – Reservoir Dogs
Bio: The highest-ranking member of the Leone Family, behind Mr. Big. Runs a restaurant and is obsessed with destroying the Triads – and has you do his dirty work.
Classic GTA III quote: “The Triads think they can mess with me? The Triads? With me?!”
Trivia tidbit: Michael Madsen voices Toni in GTA III, while Danny Mastrogiorgio voices him in Liberty City Stories.
Actor: Michael Rapaport
You know him from: Boston Public, True Romance and Bamboozled.
GTA III role: Joey Leone
Famous film quote: “I don’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out. All I got is fuckin’ Floyd.” – True Romance
Bio: The son of Salvatore Leone who runs an auto body shop. He sends you on missions that lead to a pile of dead bodies. He’s the one that intros you to Toni Cipriani.
Classic GTA III quote: “This guy ain’t Italian and he’s no mechanic, but he can get things fixed.”
Trivia tidbit: The only time Joey and his father Sal are seen interacting in person, Salvatore berates him for not yet finding a wife.
Actor: Debi Mazar
You know her from: Goodfellas, Collateral and Entourage.
GTA III role: Maria Latore
Famous TV quote: “If anyone tries to take a picture of you, you go fucking Sean Penn on them.” – Entourage
Bio: A drug-addicted, nymphomaniac, man-eating gold digger and the wife of Salvatore Leone.
Classic GTA III quote: “Fuck you, Salvatore Leone, you no-dick bullying, wife beating, Italian piece of shit.”
Trivia tidbit: The only time Maria doesn’t wear anything with leopard print is in her appearance in GTA San Andreas.
Actor: Kyle MacLachlan
You know him from: Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet and Portlandia
GTA III role: Donald Love
Famous TV quote: “I still can’t get the taste of fish-filtered coffee out of my mouth.” – Twin Peaks
Bio: A sociopathic real-estate developer who doesn’t care who loses, as long as he wins (sound familiar?)
Classic GTA III quote: “Nothing drives down real estate prices like a good old-fashioned gang war. Apart from an outbreak of plague, but that may be going too far in this case.”
Trivia tidbit: Love was inspired by Moe Greene from The Godfather.
Actor: Robert Loggia
You know him from: Scarface, Big and Independence Day.
GTA III role: Ray Machowski
Famous film quote: “You can’t keep a kid from growing up. All a 13-year-old boy wants is a 13-year-old girl. And I sure don’t know how to build one of those.” – Big
Bio: A corrupt police officer in cahoots with the Yakuza.
Classic GTA III quote: “I know what you’re thinking: another bent cop. Well, it’s a bent world.”
Trivia tidbit: Although Machowski only appeared in two missions in GTA Liberty City Stories, his artwork was used on the disc for the PS2 version of the game.
You know him from: Deceased co-founder of the rap group Gang Starr
GTA III role: 8-Ball
Bio: A bomb and weapons expert who gets you all the munitions you need, right before you need them.
Classic GTA III quote: “8-Ball’s the name, brother! Yeah, it’s a dumb name, but my daddy played a lot of pool. He was a hustler, just like me!”
Trivia tidbit: On the artwork of 8-Ball’s prison jumpsuit, the ID number is 010012. If you remove the first zero, it’s the same zip code as Rockstar’s studio in New York.
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