'Sopranos' star James Gandolfini struggled on set from 'excesses of consumption': book

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James Gandolfini became "increasingly unreliable" respective seasons into "The Sopranos" arsenic his drinking became harder for nan character to hide while filming, a caller book claims.

Mark Kamine, writer of "On Locations: Lessons Learned from My Life On Set pinch The Sopranos and successful nan Film Industry," scouted locations for "The Sopranos" during its six-season run. In his book, he writes astir an incident good into nan bid erstwhile nan character stayed retired each nighttime successful Atlantic City and showed up to activity precocious and unprepared.

Kamine says that while shooting nan play 4 "Pie-O-My" episode, Gandolfini and respective others went retired 1 nighttime successful nan gambling hotspot.

"I americium astatine nan edifice barroom erstwhile nan unit personnel closest to Jim asks if I want to spell down to Atlantic City pinch Jim and a fewer others. It’s complete an hr away. I decline," he wrote successful nan book. "The adjacent greeting I’m not amazed erstwhile Jim cannot beryllium roused."

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Kamine said Gandolfini yet arrived astir 4 hours precocious to nan set.

"We get done nan time pinch an other hr and a half of shooting but without falling behind, Jim cursing his measurement done his half-learned lines, doing return aft take, drinking coffees and bottles of water, alternately sheepish and churlish, nan measurement he ever is erstwhile he f--ks up," Kamine wrote.

He added, "Jim becomes progressively giving arsenic his fame and his evident discomfort pinch it grow. He besides becomes progressively unreliable, truthful that successful his caller woody HBO reportedly adds a clause making him responsible for shoot-day costs if he misses activity owed to excesses of consumption."

Gandolfini died successful June 2013 astatine 51 years old.

A GQ article published astir nan clip of Gandolfini’s decease elaborate nan effects nan "punishing role" of playing a sociopathic mobster had connected nan actor.

Playing "Tony Soprano would ever require to immoderate extent being Tony Soprano," nan writer claimed, adding that "In papers related to a divorcement filing astatine nan extremity of 2002, Gandolfini’s woman described progressively superior issues pinch narcotics and alcohol, arsenic good arsenic arguments during which nan character would many times punch himself successful nan look retired of frustration. To anybody who had witnessed nan actor’s self-directed rage arsenic he struggled to retrieve lines successful beforehand of nan camera — he would berate himself successful disgust, curse, smack nan backmost of his ain caput — it was a plausible scenario."

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Kamine wrote that Gandolfini was "frustrated" by castmate Edie Falco's (his onscreen wife) professionalism. 

"Jim seems successful awe of it and disappointment by her fresh entree to convincing emotion," he wrote. "He often gets to group not rather successful character, cursing himself mid-scene, calling connected nan book supervisor to provender him lines."

He continued, "But it’s worthy nan wait, worthy making up nan occasional missed day, because he much than anyone different than [creator] David [Chase] makes nan show what it is, his expressive features and rich | readings and menacing, restrained gesturing delivering awesome and accordant impact." 

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Last fall, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Gandolfini’s girl connected nan show, revealed he would often "question himself" connected set.

"Every clip I worked pinch him, I felt for illustration his sole intent was… ‘I’m going to thief you springiness your champion f--king take, Jamie,’" nan 42-year-old character said connected nan "Inside of You" podcast.

She continued, "It had thing to do pinch his confidence, 'cause [he] was really not [confident]. He would mobility himself. There would beryllium moments wherever he’d beryllium like, ‘I f--king suck,’ but I appreciated that because I’ve had those thoughts, but I didn’t opportunity them retired large because I don’t want anybody to cognize that I deliberation I suck. He was assured capable to opportunity it retired loud."

An excerpt of James Andrew Miller’s book, "Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers," that was published successful Vice successful 2021, claimed that Gandolfini said respective times during nan show’s run: "You don’t understand what this is doing to me."

He continued, "The much audiences watched and praised Gandolfini arsenic Tony, nan much his individual travel became problematic. Jimmy had suffered from intoxicant and supplier maltreatment — those copy consoling companions of some occurrence and nonaccomplishment — for years, and nan accent of occupying nan lead domiciled successful a smash deed was formidable. Of his constituent abuse, Gandolfini said: ‘When I was 20 aliases 18, it started … and it progressed done nan years.’ In 1997, he was arrested for DUI and adopted antics befitting a surviving legend, which astatine nan clip he had yet to become."

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But, contempt his struggles, Miller wrote that Gandolfini was truthful talented he "transcended specified ‘acting.’"

"His complex, nuanced, and inspired capacity demonstrated singular range, not conscionable complete nan people of nan series, aliases immoderate 1 episode, but often wrong a scene, a confrontation, moreover a azygous moment, that seemed to transcend specified ‘acting,’" he said.

Gandolfini was besides loved by his castmates. 

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"I conjecture location was a assurance there, but I deliberation it came much from him profoundly caring," Sigler said connected nan podcast past year. "Deeply, profoundly caring. He was an exceptional quality being."