Michael Gandolfini, the son of James Gandolfini, had never seen an episode of The Sopranos until he auditioned to play a younger version of his late father’s iconic character in creator David Chase’s prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark. “The hardest part of this whole process,” referring to his dad’s untimely death in 2013, “was watching the showfor the first time,” he told Esquire, adding, “It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo.” But all he saw was his father, who tried to convince him to take up anything else — especially sports — rather than become an actor.
The whole profile is worth a read and a look; it’s stunning how much Michael resembles James, but the highlight, for me, is when the younger Gandolfini names the two moments from The Sopranos that most resonated with him during his initial viewing. “There’s a scene where Meadow comes home late at night, and he’s sitting with a drink, and he’s like, ‘You know I love you, right?’ That hit hard,” he said. “The other one that crushed me was when he yells at A.J., and he gets a pizza to apologize, and he sits by his son’s bed and says, ‘I couldn’t ask for a better son.’ I just knew he was talking to me in that scene.”
The Many Saints of Newark — which is set in the 1960s in New Jersey shocking! during the Newark riots — comes out September 25, 2020, but before then, you can catch Michael Gandolfini in the new season of The Deuce.
em>The Sopranos creator David Chase is returning to New Jersey with The Many Saints of Newark, a feature prequel to his groundbreaking TV series The Sopranos that Alan Taylor is directing for New Line.
With Chase revisiting some of the beloved characters from the Emmy-winning series, including Tony Soprano, played by the late James Gandolfini’s son, Michael Gandolfini, would HBO team with Chase to expand the 1960s world he is building in the movie into a TV series?
“I keep saying ‘never say never’,” HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys told Deadline at TCA. “There are no plans, there is no discussions about it, but Michael is a really good actor, we had him on The Deuce. There is nothing on the table at the moment but I will stay open.”
Michael Gandofini, who plays the future New Jersey organized crime family boss in The Many Saints of Newark, had been gaining experience and had a breakout turn on the HBO period drama series The Deuce.
The ensemble drama The Many Saints of Newark focuses on Dickie Moltisanti Alessandro Nivola, a mentor to young Tony as his own father, Johnny Boy, was grooming his son on a pathway to organized crime prominence. There are expected to be call-backs and shout-outs to numerous other series characters in the film, which is set in the earlier time period.
em>The Sopranos was HBO’s first signature drama, a mega ratings and critical hit which drew massive ratings during its six-season run and earned a slew of awards, including two best drama series Emmys. em>Anthony D’Alessandro contributed to this report.
The Many Saints of Newark has officially wrapped production in New Jersey. Cast members Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, and Michela De Rossi made the announcement on social media by sharing behind-the-scenes video and images. Gandolfini is playing the young Tony Soprano in the Sopranos prequel, which is a role his late father, James Gandolfini, made famous. Series creator David Chase co-wrote the upcoming movie and was on the set quite a bit over the last few weeks.
Alessandro Nivola posted a picture of the prequel's logo and said, "That's a wrap. The Many Saints of Newark #TheSopranos." The "R" in Newark is a gun and the font looks very much like it is in the same vein as The Sopranos. Nivola had been spotted quite frequently over the past few months in Newark in both day and night shoots. Michael Gandolfini posted a video of Nivola along with a heartfelt message. He had this to say.
"This man inspires me so much. Sandro I could have never done this without you. You are part of my family now and forever. Thank you for holding me and all of us up. Congratulations. Love you"
Alessandro Nivola responded to Michael Gandolfini's post by saying, "You're my blood brother now - and don't ever say otherwise or 'God could hear you'! Uncle Dickie." In The Many Saints of Newark, Nivola plays Dickie Moltisanti, the father of The Sopranos character Christopher Moltisanti and the cousin of Carmela Soprano, Tony Soprano's future wife. The character was a big inspiration for the young Tony Soprano and that relationship is expected to be featured quite heavily in the prequel.
Jon Bernthal also stars in The Many Saints of Newark and recently had some kind words to say about working with Michael Gandolfini. Bernthal says, "I love Mike, I love him... I'm really honored to sort of be a part of his journey." Bernthal also noted that the young Gandolfini is "approaching it with the highest level of integrity in honoring the show, in honoring his father." Bernthal explains.
"I think he's a beautiful artist that's enormously talented and I think folks are going to-- he did this the right way. He really, really worked hard and I think people are really going to dig what he did. He's going to be a friend of mine for life. I really loved getting to know him."
Set photographer Barry Wetcher may have summed up The Many Saints of Newark in the best possible way, which will undoubtedly get some fans excited. He says, "If you're a Sopranos fan you're gonna love this, if you're not you're gonna become one." It seems like David Chase and crew were intent on making something that can stand next to the iconic series, which is not an easy task. With that being said, they all seem pretty confident that they have accomplished their collective goal. You can check out some of the behind-the-scenes shots and video from The Many Saints of Newark below, starting with Michael Gandolfini's Instagram account.
Related: The Sopranos Prequel Movie Brings in Corey Stoll & Billy Magnussen
Tony Soprano made a good living as a wise guy, enough to own one of those sprawling suburban McMansions that show people you’re rich but not quite wealthy. If that describes your financial status, you can pull the ultimate cosplay: The Soprano house has gone up for sale, reports The New York Times.
Over the legendary show’s six seasons, Tony, Carmela, Meadow, and AJ and sometimes Janice lived in North Caldwell, located in northwestern New Jersey. In real life, the house is owned by Patti and Victor Rechia, and it occupies 1.5 acres, with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, plus a detached one-bedroom guesthouse. Homes of its size in this neck of Jersey go for around $1.5 to $2 million.
Alas, the show only used the house’s exterior save for the pilot, which showed the real kitchen and real backyard pool. The interiors were all on a New York soundstage; it’s unclear how closely it was modeled on the actual inside. Still, you can still live out your Tony Soprano dreams by waddling out to the driveway every morning to pick up your newspaper before your busy day of roughing up small business owners, whacking stool pigeons, and complaining about the DVD menu of The Godfather: Part II in the back room of a strip club.
As per the NYT, the Recchias said their home has long been frequented by fans of The Sopranos. “They’ll pull up in like a limo or something, get out in a robe, and pick up a newspaper,” said Victor. It’s unclear if the home comes with ducks.
Depending on who you ask, Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale, “The Iron Throne,” was either a fitting end or yet another convoluted mess of an episode to finish this season. Regardless of its critical merits, however, one thing is indisputably clear about the hit HBO program’s last episode ever: a lot of friggin’ people watched it. Sure, last weekend’s penultimate “The Bells” broke all of the previous ratings records that Thrones had set, but the finale took the cake. It even took a record previously set by The Sopranos.
According to Variety, “The Iron Throne” garnered 19.3 million viewers between the 9 p.m. telecast, HBO GO, and HBO NOW. This means that the series finale was nearly one million ahead of last weekend’s 18.4 million overall ratings record. As increasingly massive as these numbers are, however, it was the initial broadcast’s whopping 13.6 million viewers figure that takes the cake. Yes, that’s right - 13.6 million people tuned in to HBO itself to watch the final Thrones episode.
Most of the ratings records set by Thrones‘ final season have overtaken records the show had previously set. Sunday’s 13.6 million, as Variety added, actually surpassed a biggest single telecast record for HBO that was attained by the season four premiere of The Sopranos in 2002. That’s a pretty spectacular accomplishment for Thrones, especially considering how much more “Peak TV” content it has had to compete with when compared to what The Sopranos was competing with over 15 years ago.