As he’d never seen an episode of his father James Gandolfini’s legendary HBO show The Sopranos before preparing to star in its prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark, actor Michael Gandolfini had a lot of catching up to do. Now, as the film is in full swing and preparing for a release later next year, Gandolfini has started to reflect on his big catch-up session with the show that dominated pop culture at the beginning of our modern century.
In his binge of all six Sopranos seasons, there were two particular scenes that the actor really took to heart. These moments were the ones that most reminded him of his father James, and when talking about the show in a recent interview, one of those moments was revealed to be the following:
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.
Considering how the whole point of his marathon binge of The Sopranos was to get himself more acquainted with James Gandolfini’s performance as the older variant of Tony Soprano, it’s not surprising that there would be a couple moments that really got to Michael Gandolfini.
As he’s playing the teenage version of Tony in The Many Saints of Newark, he’s been getting as close to the character as he possibly could. Which also explains why during his process to really nail the mannerisms that would go with his natural carbon copy looks, Michael actually had a crazy dream where his hands became his father’s hands.
The other moment of Sopranos history that Michael Gandolfini found it a little hard to take was a scene between Tony and his son A.J. Gandolfini described that scene in his interview with Esquire as follows:
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.
It’s bittersweet to know that after losing his father at the beginning of his teen years, Michael Gandolfini will be playing a younger version of the role that made him such a fixture in the entertainment industry. In a way, this experience seems to have brought the young actor closer to the memory of his father than he’s been in some time.
The end result sounds like it will not only impress the world with Michael Gandolfini’s performance in the Alan Taylor-directed film, but it could also have a sort of emotional catharsis waiting for Gandolfini when all is said and done.
The Many Saints of Newark take to the streets on September 25, 2020. As for Michael Gandolfini, you can see him in the final season of HBO’s The Deuce when it premieres on Monday, September 9 at 9 PM ET.