I was never a regular viewer of The Sopranos when it was on, but, I saw enough episodes to know that it was, like Twin Peaks or The X-Files before it, totally game-changing television. And though I loved James Gandolfini on the show, I think I loved him even more in some of his smaller supporting roles in movies.
For instance, I don’t remember one goddamn thing about that piece of crap Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts movie The Mexican except that I loved Gandolfini in it. I also loved him in more recent stuff like Zero Dark Thirty and that crazy-good TV movie Cinema Verite with Diane Lane. He was one of those guys who just walked in, read a few lines and totally stole the movie. But, even better than that, I liked watching him on interviews where he seemed like a genuinely humble regular dude who just happened to fall into massive Hollywood fame. Guys like that don’t come around too often, and when they leave us at such a young age, man, it makes the loss even greater.
So, for that and for the fact that I totally agree with what he says about people who like to meet up for breakfast (unless it’s a late breakfast at noon, can’t stand em!), I salute the late, great James Gandolfini in his own words. RIP, Mr. Soprano.
“I read [The Sopranos pilot]. I liked it. I thought it was good. But I thought they would have to hire some good-looking guy, not George Clooney but some Italian George Clooney, and that would be that. But they called me and they said can I meet David [Chase] for breakfast at nine a.m. At the time I was younger and I stayed out late a lot, and I was like, ‘Oh, for fuck’s sake. This guy wants to eat breakfast? This guy’s going to be a pain in the ass.'”