David Aaronson
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

David Aaronson

Once Upon A Time In America

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About Him

Grew Up… in utter poverty, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. As kids, “Noodles” and his friends made money by working for a small-time hustler named Bugsy. However, when the teenagers start their own operation, Noodles and Bugsy are forced into a deadly confrontation. Not even twenty at the time, Noodles is promptly sent to prison for Bugsy's murder.

Living… back on the outside, twelve years after being put in prison. In 1932, Noodles returns to find that his old hoodlum friends, Max, Patsy and Cockeye, have made a name for themselves in New York’s bootlegging business.

Profession… once a criminal, always a criminal. Prohibition has been good to the gang, though their ambitions seem too grandiose to the prison-hardened Noodles.

Interests… keeping his loved ones safe. It's a stressful job, though, and when times are rough, the only thing that can relax Noodles sufficiently is opium, which is happily popular in New York’s urban underbelly.

Relationship Status… in love and obsessed with Deborah, a girl he knew before his time behind bars. Noodles spent every day in jail thinking about her, and now that he’s out, he’ll do anything to make her his own. As he assures Deborah, “Nobody’s gonna love you the way I loved you.”

Challenge… saving his friends from certain ruin. When Prohibition comes to an end and the gang becomes desperate for money, Max comes up with a scheme to rob the New York Federal Reserve Bank. When they refuse to listen to Noodles's dire warnings, he decides to take matters into his own hands in order to save his old friends.

Personality… tired, worn, and world-weary. Noodles arrives out of jail with high dreams of glory, but he finds it hard to be the gangster he wants to be or did the kind of friend he believes he should be.

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