This Sunday, the world will see the very last new episode of The Sopranos. After eight years of audience glued to their televisions on Sunday nights soaking up the drama and feeding our hunger for a glimpse inside the mob life (wondering if each episode might hold a surprise ‘whacking’) it is finally time to say goodbye. Actor James Gandolfini says that he’s ready, according to the Associated Press.
“I was told that it would be a transition… Not much. It’s very calming to move on,” Gandolfini told the AP. “The character has been with me for so long. It’s a relief to let him go.”
Gandolfini says that the role is actually very strenuous, physically. The show revolved around him and he was in many of the scenes. “But in a way, being tired helped me play the character. If the guy had to look good and be handsome and happy, the hours we worked would certainly not help. They helped ME a great deal…I was allowed to be grumpy and tired and look like (crap).”
Mentally, Gandolfini has already moved well past Tony Soprano. He says of the show, though, “There wasn’t any grand finale.” It worked out in a way that allowed Gandolfini to shoot each last scene with another actor, and then that actor was gone. He wasn’t greatly affected by this until he shot his last scene with Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante, Tony’s long time faithful consigliere. When they shot their last seen together, the end really resignated with Gandolfini. “This is no indication of my feelings toward anyone else, but, for some reason, that really hit me when he left. Wow!” he told the AP.
Gandolfini is getting the bulk of the attention as loyal fans await this Sunday’s series finale, but he wants to give more credit to others who go unrecognized. “I might be in a lot of scenes, but the crew is in EVERY scene,” he points out. “The crew is there 16 hours a day, every day.
“And the cast totally propped me up in many scenes. After three or four scenes sometimes I was adrift, and because (the editor) could cut to such other good actors, they were there to help me.”
Gandolfini is already working on something new. He has recently signed a production deal with the HBO network and is making a documentary about United States soldiers who return from Iraq and are recovered from near-fatal accidents.
James Gandolfini looks past ‘Sopranos’
By By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer