See James Gandolfini In The Final Role He Feared He Couldn't Pull Off
There’s something deeply heartwarming about this production still from writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s next film Enough Said. Maybe it’s the easy, flirtatious charm co-stars James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus share in the picture. Maybe it’s that we’re feeling wistful in the wake of Gandolfini’s unexpected death at just 51 years old. Or maybe it’s just that his smile is contagious.
While the world knew him best as the tough and terrifying Tony of the celebrated HBO series The Sopranos, Gandolfini earned a reputation behind the scenes as being a “total teddy bear.” That was how another Enough Said co-star, Toni Collette, described him to me in a recent interview for her summer comedy The Way Way Back. “He was the real deal. He actually had a twinkle in his eye. He was cheeky and wonderful,” she recalled with a sad smile. Speaking of his work in this film, Collette told me she believes this role—which sadly was one of his last—will be the one that finally gives his fans a glimpse of how the people who worked with him and knew him personally saw him. “He's the leading man. He's sought after, loved, talked about,” Collette shared, “And I just feel so lucky to have gotten to work with him.”
Far from playing the heavy here, Gandolfini is the love interest of Enough Said. Dreyfuss plays the romantic comedy’s flustered protagonist Eva, a NYC divorcee whose coping with with empty nest syndrome after her kid goes off to college. She finds solace in an inspirational new friend Marianne (Catherine Keener) and then romance with a truly terrific guy named Albert (Gandolfini) with whom she shares a promising connection. There’s just one problem: Albert’s the dreaded ex-husband of her new gal pal. Enjoying the company of both too much to choose just one, Eva attempts to juggle both relationships while keeping them precariously separated.
Albert was a role unlike any he’d played before, and it worried him. "He didn't believe he could play a romantic lead, even though everyone on the set thought he was sexy and hilarious,” Holofcener told THR. “He was charming and self-effacing and incredibly talented. Not only did he pull off playing a leading man, his performance is subtle and moving and very, very lovely."
Fans of the Golden Globe-winning Gandolfini will have a chance to see the film thanks to Fox Searchlight, who will distribute domestically. Following its world premier at the Toronto Film Festival, Enough Said will open in theaters on September 20th in a limited release. This is welcomed news after hearing his pilot for HBO’s Criminal Justice may never air.
You can check out its first promo poster below.
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