Radioman: An NYC Film Legend

Photo: Neville Elder
Photo: Neville Elder

Over the past 100 years, film has played a huge role in NYC’s cultural history, but the real story lies within the cast and crew who have shaped what it truly means to be a party of this industry.

One of these characters is a former homeless drifter named Craig Castaldo, more commonly referred to as “Radioman,” and has become a bit of a legend in NYC film lore and is a “cultural institution,” according to Tom Hanks. “When you are on first name terms with Radio, you know you’ve made it.”

Photo: Neville Elder

Photo: Neville Elder

Appearing in over 100 movies over the years, Radio is on close terms with everyone from the late great Robin Williams to Meryl Streep, and is pretty much a permanent fixture to any film set as well as to paparazzi and the stars alike. If he doesn’t show up, you’re probably not working on a legit production.

Whether its a fish monger in Boardwalk, biking alongside Josh Brolin in Wall Street, getting squashed by Godzilla, or having a recurring role in 30 Rock, Radio has become a staple both on and off screen as well. When The Departed was filming in Boston, Scorsese even had production bring Radio (bike/plastic bags/radio and all) up on a train to be in a number of scenes.

Photo: Neville Elder

Photo: Neville Elder

Now a legit member of SAG (after a number of production friends pitched in to purchase his membership dues), Radio is no longer the homeless drifter wandering up to set, but he doesn’t care if you think that or not. Much like the city that he calls home, Radio isn’t afraid to tell you his opinion, whether camera is rolling or not.

Check out more about the NYC film legend via the Radioman documentary.