For 8 years James Gandolfini took the world by storm as he was the star of arguably the most popular Television show of all time The Sopranos.
James played Tony Soprano, a character who at times was cruel, ill-intentioned, and malicious. Unlike other characters we have seen in the past though, he was loving, compassionate, and emotionally conflicted. Creator David Chase and HBO knew they had to find the right guy to take on such a complex character, and they sure did choose the perfect guy. No one else could have played Tony Soprano...no one!
Recently on Project X, I talked with Steve Schirripa about the time I met James with the intention of talking about a potential partnership with Steiner Sports.
We met at Tribeca Grill in Manhattan, and I can honestly tell you for the first half hour I didn't know what to do because James was in character the whole time! After that, though, he looked at me dead in the eyes and said…
“Look, you know I don’t want to do this, but I don’t want to disappoint the rest of the cast. And I want them be able to make the money, I know that money means a lot to them. So, I’m going to do whatever it is you need me to do, as long as the other guys are taken care of the right way.”
The difference between James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano and James Gandolfini in real life was mind blowing. He was an incredible man. Everyone you talk to will tell you that he was one of the most genuine and humble people on the planet.
In my 30 years at Steiner, James is one of the only people who actually did what they said they would do, and his commitment to those he cared about was unmatched.
A life lost to soon, but the impact he left behind will never fade away.
Quote of the Day: "May the Force be with you"- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars, 1977)
Song of the Day: Midnight Train to Georgia (Gladys Knight & the Pips)