James Gandolfini: Tribute to a Friend

Synopsis: the cast off the sopranos talk about james gandolfini as a friend and a actor
95 min


He was a searcher, really.

He was looking for something

he didn't have.

I don't think he knew

how valuable he was

to other people,

how much what he did

for them mattered.

He was a good man.

He just happened to be

a brilliant, brilliant actor.

He just made you feel like

things were gonna be okay.

If he was around, he just did.

Jimmy had that combination

of being very down to earth

and also larger than life.

- You did a scene with

- Jimmy Gandolfini

and you walked away

a better actor.

He was a reluctant...

a reluctant star.

He was so grateful

for his good luck,

for his chance to do

something for people.

You can't go out and say

we lost Tony Soprano.

We didn't lose Tony Soprano.

We lost James Gandolfini.

Whatever the opposite

of bullshit is,

that's what I think

Jimmy Gandolfini was searching for.

All right, well, we have

our breaking news now.

We can confirm the death

of James Gandolfini,

the actor best known,

of course, for his role

in "The Sopranos"

as Tony Soprano.

HBO is confirming that he died

while on vacation

in Rome, Italy...

I was taking a nap and a friend came up

to my room and said,

"You gotta wake up,

gotta wake up.

Jim Gandolfini died. "

And I wasn't entirely sure

I was awake,

I didn't know

what had happened.

I couldn't make sense of it.

I couldn't believe it.

I refused to believe it.

"Who told you this?"

It just... it didn't

make sense to me.

Um, I...

somehow was under

the mistaken impression

that this guy

was indestructible.

Then I just sat on that chair

for days, you know.

Yeah, that was bad.

A lot of phone calls

trying to...

hopefully find out

if it was a rumor,

you know.

But it wasn't.

Well, you know

your time has come

And you're sorry

for what you've done

You should have never been

playing with a gun

In those

complicated shadows...

The first time

I actually met him, I...

you know, he came in to read.

He was one of the actors

who came in to read.

And, you know, we basically

just shook hands.

He sat down and he...

he read.

And then he bolted

in the middle of it.

He left.

He said, "Uh-uh,

this isn't doing...

I'm not doing this right.

This is not good. "

After he finally read

the whole thing all the way through,

it was pretty clear

that he was the guy.

Mr. Soprano?

Ahem. Yeah.

It had been cast already

and they said,

"It was this guy,

Jim Gandolfini. "

- That's perfect.

- You getting that?

I guess I first met him

at the first read-through.

We became a family

from that day,

from the first


And then we went from there.

We shot the pilot

in August of 1997.

It was great and everybody

had a nice time

and felt that they were

working on something really good.

But in this business

a lot of times

when you feel like you're working

on something really good,

that's usually... it means

that, like, nobody's ever going to see it.

I did not think it would be a big thing.

Not in the least.

Oddly, I had much

more confidence than David

or anybody else did,

including Jim.

I think they were fairly pessimistic

about the show.

I did the screening

and my friends came

and, you know, I've done this

before with people.

And I could see that people

really were responding to it.

They were laughing a lot,

more than I thought they would.

I began to think then

we had something,

but I never thought

it would succeed with...

you know, in the way

that it did.

I never had that dream,

that notion,

that inkling, anything.

You gave a fucking cousin Cartier dinner

rings and you give me a vibrating chair?

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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