Correspondent Jim Axelrod asked “Soprano” creator David Chase, “Where did all this come from, the therapy part and the mother part?”
“Well, I was in therapy, and well, actually, because of my mother, you know?” raised Chase shoulders.
After six seasons, in 86 episodes, of a place on the list of almost every critic of the most influential shows ever, as Tony Soprano’s mafia family in North Jersey rewrote the rules rejecting network standards for cable freedom after Chase gave us a brutal mob boss who passed sessions with his shrinking talking about his mother… he knew exactly what he would ever hear“People I meet socially would say, ‘Will you do more? Oh, you have to do more!'”
“Have you always thought,” Never. I’m done “?” asked Axelrod.
It turns out he was not finished.
means that a sequel came out. So Chase went the other way: a “prequel” movie set 30 years ago before the show. “The Many Saints of Newark” is the story of Dickie Moltisanti, a young Tony father figure who was mentioned in “The Sopranos” but was never embodied.
Chase said, “I turned over my memories and thought, ‘Oh, yes, Dickie Moltisanti. It had everything to talk about. And he was really a, you know, bad. I’m interested in that. I “would like to find out who that guy was.”
Check out a trailer for “Many Newark Saints”:
Axelrod asked, “Isn’t this a story originating from Tony Soprano?”
“No, it is not. We wanted to make a gangster movie. We did not want to make an ‘origin story’; we wanted to make a gangster movie.”
Whatever the purpose of Chase, a prequel meant meeting the latest versions of such well-known and beloved characters as Silvio, Uncle Junior and Tony’s mother, Livia, and making sure they fell true.
Axelrod asked, “Where is the boundary between honoring character integrity and parody?”
“Mostly throwing; this is mostly where the line is,” Chase said.
“More than writing?”
“I think so too.”
Actor John Magaro plays young Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano’s right-hand man (played by Steve Van Zandt in the show). “I felt this obligation to these characters as a fan of ‘The Sopranos,'” Magaro said. “For me, it started with, you know, the pussy he has. The kind of frown is, and then he shrugs a little bit. And then it ‘s, you know, he always has his hands like it“
Magaro said the pressure to capture the essence of these iconic characters, rather than to impress them, felt pervasive: “Nothing is like playing a character where you have millions of furious fans who are about to hit you. the smallest mistake and, you know, this will come out in a few weeks, and i’ll have to turn off the phone and the internet for a few weeks because it will be scary like hell.You know, they will come to us . “
No choice will be considered more than the cast actor to play young Tony Soprano.
Axelrod asked, “Have you auditioned for other actors?”
“Yes,” replied Chase. “We heard the other audiences before him.”
“He” is Michael Gandolfini, son of James Gandolfini.
“After you heard it, did you know?”
Michael told Axelrod his first instinct was to say “no”. “It comes with pressure. It comes with responsibility. And then, a whole layer, you know, playing the role of my father.”
But then he did something he had never done before: Watch the “Sopranos” series. “It’s true, yes, I’ve never seen it.
“My dad died, so it was a thing, like, it’s going to be hard, I don’t want to open it now. And then, I watched the first season before auditioning and just fell in love. I was very proud of my dad.”
He studied James’ work, especially those therapy scenes: “Hours with a character who has triggers and impulses and a mentality – is such a gift. I have hours inside a mind that I will play.”
Exclusive Web: Michael Gandolfini talks about taking on the iconic role of his father:
The gift was trust enough to end it, despite the shadows and steps he knew he would face. Axelrod asked, “Did any of you think, you know what? I’m fine, I don’t need to do that.”
“I do not know if you have ever jumped from a plane or something, but you go and look back and go, How did I do that?“Tha Gandolfini.” Sometimes it bothers me too, that I just did it! “Yes, I think if I had thought too much about him, he would have crippled me.”
Axelrod asked Chase, “Were you at all concerned, for any part of your calculation, ‘What if that didn’t work? What could be the consequences for Michael?'”
“No,” replied Chase. “He’s an actor, he wants to work, he wants to be a star or whatever. No. I mean, what is he now, 20, 22?” You asked for it! ”
David Chase knows he’s been looking for it too with “The Many Saints of Newark”: “I always think to myself, ‘When will people get tired of this family?'”
“How, never?” Tha Axelrod.
“I mean, I think that’s possible, yes. That’s not the way I think.”
Knowing one thing that can be relied on by the large family of avid “Sopranos” fans is an unpainted answer.
Axelrod said: “I ask [you], a guy who is at this level: Does it still matter? “
“Yes,” replied Chase. I mean, I’m a human being trying to communicate with millions of human beings, and what they say to me, of course, matters. If they say, ‘You surprised me,’ or, ‘It was interesting.’ importance, as opposed to, ‘Hey, ass ****,’ you know? ‘We’ve seen it already.’ “
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Story produced by David Rothman. Editors: Mike Levine.
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