. Old School Tees Blog: James Gandolfini 1961-2013

James Gandolfini 1961-2013

I was shocked to hear about James Gandolfini passing. He seemed larger than life. I enjoyed the Soprano's series and found his other work interesting. I imagined it would be hard to overcome the dominating figure of Anthony Soprano as an actor seeking other work. Now we will not know what other roles he might have had to make the formidable Tony Soprano fade into the background. He will forever be remembered primarily for that role...but what a role! Tony was a sympathetic sociopath. He was a noble savage, a selfish, driven murderer who also had a convoluted moral code.

 I think personally he was more like the character Bear in the movie Get Shorty, as an enforcer/stunt man who was really kind of a softy, a gentle guy, than Tony S.

I posted on OldSchoolTees facebook this morning something I read in the paper:

 "In 2003, after his bruising contract dispute with HBO held up production of the show, the stubborn but generous actor paid his co-stars back for the delay, handing them five-figure sums from his new deal." -- NYDaily News

 And this quote, which was one of many listed on IMDb:

 Tony.: Where the f*** have you been? You're late! 
 Christopher: Sorry, the highway was jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive. 

 (Does anyone NOT recognize where that Christopher's quote is from? Hint: Jersey!)

 His parents were blue-collar Italian immigrants. He was a Rutgers grad...Jersey all the way. What is your favorite Tony Soprano quote or scene? There are many to choose from. I will be watching him tonight on Netflix or HBO on Demand.

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Unknown said...

Truly a tragic loss to the world. I was shocked to see the news Thursday when I fist heard about it. My condolences go out to his close friends and family at this very sad time. I hope they are left to mourn in peace.

The quote is from "Born to Run" if I am not mistaken?

GenXblogger said...

I loved The Sopranos and the actor himself. I was also in shock although he was quite unhealthy. I immediately thought of a scene in Sopranos where Tony is eating mayo right out of the jar in front of the TV. James seemed like a great guy and a great dad. I think he had a hard time breaking out of the gangster stereotype too.

Michael Morgan said...

Yes that is where the quote quote is from! Bruce Springsteen. It seemed fitting since the show, and Mr G, were all about Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie ordered flags to be flown at half staff to honor the Soprano's star. Thanks for your comment. C

Michael Morgan said...

What appealed to me (and doubtless to countless others) about Gandolfini is that he made this brutal sociopath called Tony Soprano a sympathetic guy. It was hard to dismiss or even dislike TS because of the complexity James Gandolfini brought to the role. It is unusual to see that depth on TV, as characters are often one dimensional. (BUT...it's not TV, it's HBO!)

I wish we had a chance to see what else he could do. Thanks for your comment. C