New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James' breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott's True Romance (1993), but the role that brought him worldwide fame and accolades was as complex Mafia boss Tony Soprano in HBO's smash hit series "The Sopranos" (1999). He currently lives in Greenwich Village in New York City.IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous
|Deborah Lin||(30 August 2008 - present)|
|Marcy Wudarski||(March 1999 - 18 December 2002) (divorced) 1 child|
Best remembered as mob boss Tony from "The Sopranos" (1999)
Plays characters who are brutish yet charming
Large, chunky bear-like frame
His sister Johanna is a prominent official with the New Jersey Family Court system.
Graduated from Park Ridge High School, Park Ridge, New Jersey (1979).
Attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
He plays the trumpet and saxophone.
Although he often plays thuggish or brute characters, he is actually somewhat of a pacifist off-stage; he had reservations about continuing his production contract as Tony in "The Sopranos" (1999) due to the show's violent content and stereotype of Italian-Americans.
TV mobster Gandolfini turned to the right side of the law when he saw a woman being mugged in his native New York recently. Passers-by were shocked to see the tough-guy step in and rescue a woman when she was knocked down and had her bag snatched whilst walking down a dimly lit street. [November 2001]
Named one of E!'s "top 20 entertainers of 2001."
Financed the construction of a restaurant called Vines in Oneonta, New York for his childhood pal Clive Griffiths, who needed the money to launch it. Griffiths has since paid him back, and then some.
Used to bartend in Manhattan during years as struggling actor.
Lost more than 40 pounds for his role in The Mexican (2001), but had to gain it all back before shooting for the HBO series "The Sopranos" (1999) because executives didn't believe the audience would like a "skinny" Tony.
Well trained in Krav Maga, (an Israeli style of Martial Arts) which he practiced for 2 1/2 years.
Became engaged to Lora Somoza. [January 2004]
Says he is nothing like "Tony Soprano" in real life, describing his own personality as being more like a "260-pound Woody Allen".
Was voted "best-looking" in high school
Is friends with former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
Once worked as a bouncer.
For his role as Eddie Poole in 8MM (1999), Gandolfini met a variety of real porn directors and producers to get a feel for their line of work and to get a taste of their personalities, and is said to have loosely based his character on several of them.
Became engaged to Lora Somoza in January 2004. Broke up, amicably, in February 2005.
Was in attendance at Chris Penn's funeral
Was considered for the role of Ben Grimm/The Thing in Fantastic Four (2005).
Became close friends with his "The Sopranos" (1999) co-star, Lorraine Bracco, during the filming of the HBO series. During her close ups, during their scenes, he would "moon" her to try and put her off. This was confirmed during James' interview on "Inside the Actors Studio" (1994).
Nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Leading Actor in a Play for "God of Carnage".
Known to be a shy man, uncomfortable being a celebrity.
Was considered for the role of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction (1994).
"I'm a neurotic mess. I'm really basically just like a 260-pound Woody Allen".
I'm an actor... I do a job and I go home. Why are you interested in me? You don't ask a truck driver about his job.
I was voted best-looking kid in high school but, as you can see, things changed. I used to say I was a 260-pound Woody Allen. You can make that 295-pound now.
I just don't think I'm that interesting. I don't think what I have to say is that interesting. To hear me go, 'Blah, blah, blah, blah'. - on why he rarely does interviews
I thought, I've never been the lead before. They're gonna hire somebody else. But I knew I could do it. I have small amounts of Mr. Soprano in me. I was 35, a lunatic, a madman. - on his reaction to "The Sopranos" pilot script.
It's been a great opportunity, but I don't have much trepidation about it ending. I think it's more than time. Part of the fun of acting is the research, finding out about other people. As much as I've explored this guy, I don't know what else to really do with him. I've been in one place for 10 years. That's enough. It's time for me to do other things. - about ending "The Sopranos"
Like I always say, I'm standing on my parents' shoulders; they allowed me to do this silly job.
I love hearing people laugh. Especially in New York, and especially now. To hear somebody out there just belly-laughing.
[About Tony Sporano, his character on "The Sopranos" (1999)]: I never think about him, ever.
[on the final episode of "The Sopranos" (1999)] When I first saw the ending, I said, "What the fuck?" I mean, after all I went through, all this death, and then it's over like that? But after I had a day to sleep, I just sat there and said, "That's perfect."
[on his "The Sopranos" (1999) co-star, Edie Falco] I'm still in love with Edie. And, of course, I love my wife, but I'm in love with Edie. I don't know if I'm in love with Carmela or Edie or both. I'm in love with her.
I'm much more comfortable doing smaller things. I like them. I like the way they're shot; they're shot quickly.
[on acting] It is an odd way to make a living. Putting someone else's pants on and pretending to be someone else is occasionally, as you grow older, horrifying.
I dabbled a little bit in acting in high school and then I forgot about it completely. And then at about twenty-five I went to a class. I don't think anybody in my family thought it was an intelligent choice. I don't think anybody thought I'd succeed, which is understandable. I think they were just happy that I was doing something.
[on the 'Sopranos' project] I read it. I liked it. I thought it was good. But I thought they would have to hire some good-looking guy, not George Clooney but some Italian George Clooney, and that would be that. But they called me and they said can I meet David [Chase] for breakfast at nine a.m. At the time I was younger and I stayed out late a lot, and I was like, 'Oh, for fuck's sake. This guy wants to eat breakfast? This guy's going to be a pain in the ass.
I think you cared about Tony because David was smart enough th write the Greek chorus through Dr. Melfi. So you sat there and you got to see his motives, what he was thinking, what he was trying to do, what he was trying to fix, what he was trying to become. And then you saw it didn't really work out the way he wanted it to. If you took the Melfi scenes away, you wouldn't care about this man as much, or care about anything that was happening to him.
We'd get accused, back then, of glamorizing mobsters, but we were all half miserable you know. I don't think the violence looks appealing at all. Everybody paid for it in a lot of ways. I heard sometimes that we were making cute, cuddly mobsters, but i know for a fact that David wrote an incredibly violent episode - the one where there's a stripper that Ralph Cifaretto beats to death - and I think that was written as a reaction to that. It's a very violent world and, you know, there's consequences. I think we showed it, and I think we showed the toll it takes on people.
[on David Chase and the challenges of 'The Sopranos'] By the end, I had a lot of anger over things and I think it was just from being tired, and what in God's name would I have to be angry about? The man gave me such a gift in terms of life experience, in terms of acting experience, in terms of money too. At the beginning, David came to the set a lot, but once it got bigger and it became this thing, you know, he was a little more standoffish. He was harder to talk to. I understand that. The pressure that he had to continue to create, to continue to do great work, was hard. Everybody starts to want something, everybody starts to call, and this one needs this, and can we talk about that? And then there's money, and so you have to pull back and try to protect yourself in a way. I had to learn it and I wasn't very good at it. But then it starts to take its toll. The first couple of years it was easier. It wasn't such a huge deal. I've said this to him, but maybe not so clearly. I got it. He had to be a little bit of the Great and Powerful Oz. There was no choice.
|The Last Castle (2001)||$5,000,000|
|"The Sopranos" (1999)||$13,000,000 (Season 5)|
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