As a child, Vincent LaMarca had to deal with the arrest and execution of his father for the kidnapping and accidental murder of an infant. As a retired New York City police officer, he had to contend with the arrest and murder conviction of his younger, drug-addict son. With his sons run-in with the law and the subsequent article about his family history in Esquire magazine, old wounds were opened, but, improbably, a healing process began.
When I talked with LaMarca on August 28, 2002, I found a man finally at peace with his past, fully grounded in the present, and optimistic about the future. He was open, at times even playful, about the sometimes emotional changes that first the article and then the film based on his life with the usual Hollywood liberties, has brought to him. My first question, though, was about what it was like to be played by Robert De Niro.