Childhood illness saved Martin Scorsese from mob life

Last Updated: Sep 20, 2010, 16:44 PM IST

London: Martin Scorsese’s longtime cinematographer Michael Ballhaus has revealed that asthma had saved the director from a life of violent crime in his native New York.

The ‘Goodfellas’ director was raised in Little Italy in the 1940s and 50s, when the Manhattan neighbourhood was ruled by the mob.

According to Ballhaus, Martin had admitted that he would have turned to crime had a bout of asthma not forced him to stay indoors.

Instead, Scorsese spent hours watching television and cultivating his love for films.

"(Scorsese`s) best friend was the son of the Mafia boss there. When he was a kid, he had asthma, so he couldn``t go on the streets,” the Daily Mail quoted Ballhaus as telling GQ magazine.

“He went home and watched movies on television, hours and hours.

"He told me once that if he were a big guy like his friend, ``I probably would have been one of them,``" he added.

ANI