‘Many Saints of Newark’ cast on returning to iconic ‘Sopranos’ universe: ‘One of the hardest jobs’


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The team behind “The Many Saints of Newark” faced a unique challenge when they had to cast younger versions of the iconic characters from “The Sopranos.”

The flick is a prequel to the famous mob drama featuring younger versions of many of the characters from the original show, including the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael, who plays Tony Soprano – formerly settled by his father.


Gandolfini, 22, and several of her co-stars recently spoke with Granthshala News about taking on roles played by other actors.

“It will still be based on the same character as you would physically look at Tony, but you would feel like someone different, much younger,” said the young star.

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James Gandolfini’s son Michael reveals differences between his versions of iconic ‘Sopranos’ character

Billy Magnussen echoed Gandolfini’s comments, explaining that the physicality of his character, Paulie “Nut” Gualtieri, was important.

“Just sitting with this character over and over again, treats,” he shared. “And then, [I’d ask writer and ‘Sopranos’ creator] David [Chase], ‘This is right?’”

Michael Gandolfini says playing late father’s character Tony Soprano was ‘the hardest decision ever’

Corey Stoll also took on the role of junior soprano for the prequel.

“Our dialect coach, he made this supercut of all his jokes, all the jokes he told on the series,” the actor recalled. “And I’ll just listen to it over and over and get this kind of rat-a-tat rhythm and just keep listening to it right until they say ‘action.

Michael Gandolfini prepares for his Tony soprano role by studying his father

Michela De Rossi, who plays a new character in the “Sopranos” universe, said even she felt the weight of joining the franchise.

“I didn’t watch the series before I got the role and I watched the whole thing in a month,” she said. “… View [Liotta]Our characters are new to the world of ‘The Sopranos’. So I tried to find my own way into that.”

Additionally, behind-the-scenes talent felt intimidated to step back into the beloved story with director Alan Taylor—who also directed nine episodes of “The Sopranos”—missing the “high” bar set by the series.

“I was really grateful to be back there,” he said. “But it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried and made sure that, we served this piece of American culture.”

Granthshala News’ Ashley Dworkin contributed to this report

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