Michael Gandolfini Opens Up About Stepping into Late Father’s Role for Sopranos Prequel Movie

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The Many Saints of Newark (or just Newark) is the sequel movie to HBO’s critically acclaimed Sopranos television series. Playing the role of a young Tony Soprano will be Michael Gandolfini. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the son of James Gandolfini – the man who brought Tony Soprano to life. Stepping into his late father’s shoes wasn’t only difficult, but Michael admits that he hadn’t ever seen an episode of Sopranos before auditioning for the film:

“The funny thing is, before the audition, I had never watched a minute of The Sopranos. I was just a kid when he was making it. I would go to the set and ask him what it was about, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s about this guy who’s in the mob and kind of goes to therapy.’”

Michael then talked about the experience of watching his late father on screen:

“The hardest part of this whole process was watching the show for the first time…It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo. But then I’d also be seeing my father. I think what made it so hard was I had to do it alone. I was just sitting alone in my dark apartment, watching my dad all the time. I started having crazy dreams. I had one where I auditioned for David and I looked down at my hands, and they were my dad’s hands.”

We’ll all be watching to see what Michael brings to the character of Tony, but we can all agree that it’s a great homage to the great James Gandolfini.

The Many Saints of Newark releases September 25, 2020.

Source: Slash Film