Michael Gandolfini didn't think about grief for dad while shooting Sopranos movie

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 1 September 2021
Michael Gandolfini

Michael Gandolfini

Michael Gandolfini blocked out his grief for his dad, the late James Gandolfini, while filming 'The Many Saints of Newark'

Michael Gandolfini blocked out his grief for his dad while filming 'The Many Saints of Newark'.

The 22-year-old actor portrays a younger version of Tony Soprano, the role made famous by his late father James Gandolfini in the 'Sopranos' TV show in the upcoming spin-off movie but he admitted it was a tough decision for him to take on the role and he had to just think about the job at hand, rather than his own feelings.

He told Empire magazine: "[It was] probably the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make...

“You know, I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to walk out of this feeling like I’d grown in terms of my feelings towards my dad. I just wanted to be the best actor I could be, portraying Tony in the way David [Chase, creator and writer] wanted, scene by scene. I didn’t think about my grief because…well, I would have s*** the bed.”

Michael insisted the Tony shown in the movie – which is set in the 1960s and 70s – is different from the tough mobster from the TV series.

He said: “My dad’s character had all this beautiful sensitivity underneath this aggression. This version of him is the reverse. His curiosity and sensitivity comes first. He’s not a gun-wielding gangster. He’s a kid who gets whittled down and pulled in.”

Director Alan Taylor recalled how Michael gave an emotional speech about his father during filming.

He told the publication: “We all had dinner one night. At one point, [Michael] stood up and said, ‘I want to thank everyone for doing this because it was a chance to say hello to my father… and goodbye again.’ There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”

The Many Saints of Newark

  • 4 stars
  • 2021
  • US
  • 2h
  • 15
  • Directed by: Alan Taylor
  • Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Michael Gandolfini, Billy Magnussen, Michela De Rossi, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, Vera Farmiga

Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark, N.J., history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters start to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, whose influence over his nephew will help…