James Gandolfini’s son says he ‘didn’t think about grief’ while playing young Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark

Actor said taking over the role of Tony was ‘probably the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make’

Louis Chilton
Thursday 02 September 2021 08:54
Many Saints of Newark trailer

Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late Sopranos star James Gandolfini, has opened up about the challenges of playing a younger version of his father’s iconic role in a new film.

Gandolfini will play Tony Soprano in the forthcoming Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark.

James Gandolfini died of a heart attack in 2013, at the age of 51.

Speaking to Empire magazine in a new interview, Gandolfini revealed that taking on his late father’s role was “probably the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make”.

“You know, I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to walk out of this feeling like I’d grown in terms of my feelings towards my dad,” he said. “I just wanted to be the best actor I could be, portraying Tony in the way [writer David Chase] wanted, scene by scene.

“I didn’t think about my grief because… well, I would have s*** the bed,” he added.

Before appearing in The Many Saints of Newark, Gandolfini had roles in projects including Ocean’s 8 and David Simon’s acclaimed HBO series The Deuce.

The Many Saints of Newark is released in the UK on 22 October.

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