With a hard chiseled face and a vicious verbal swagger, James Cagney was the tough guy in the 1930s and 1940s. Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in his early years he would become a seasoned street fighter and boxer. He channeled his energies to the Broadway stage before finally settling in Tinsel town. Because of his upbringing, Cagney naturally looked and acted the role of gritty gangsters and crooks. His film The Public Enemy was one of the most influential gangster films of all time, and his performance would horrify and entrance the nation. He received multiple Academy Award nominations. The first was for his performance as a gangster in Angels with Dirty Faces, in which he co-starred with Humphrey Bogart. As a skilled fighter and actor, Cagney was a true original and one of the few tough guys who could talk the talk and walk the walk.
“My biggest concern is that doing a rough-and-tumble scene I might hurt someone accidentally.”