Michael Gandolfini says he’d play Tony Soprano again, but only up to a certain point. Gandolfini is currently playing the character in The Many Saints of Newark, who was made famous by his father, James Gandolfini, in HBO’s The Sopranos. The Many Saints of Newark is the prequel film to The Sopranos, which takes place in the 60s and 70s, focusing on the teenage years of Tony Soprano and the events that ultimately lead to his eventual transformation into a crime boss. The film is directed by Alan Taylor and written by David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, with Lawrence Konner.
James Gandolfini passed away in 2013 after a heart attack, and his son, Michael, would later pick up the acting tradition, starring in several different projects, starting with a role in HBO’s The Deuce. Gandolfini recently appeared in the Tom Holland film Cherry and is currently filming the new Ari Aster film, Disappointment Blvd., alongside Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Ryan. Despite being James Gandolfini’s son and bearing a strong resemblance, Michael auditioned heavily for the role in The Many Saints of Newark before securing it.
Talking to Uproxx, Gandolfini says he’d play Tony Soprano again, but with a limitation. The actor says that playing the role again would be a priority, but only exploring the character until it naturally leads into the actual show. Tony Soprano in his 20s is something Gandolfini would be interested in, but he says that show creator David Chase and his late father already ventured into the middle-aged Tony, so that would be a cut-off for him. Gandolfini says he learned a lot from working with the cast and crew of the film, and he seems keen to continue that journey as well. Here’s his full quote:
“This is such an incredible character and incredible group of actors and incredible filmmakers that I learned so much. This is going to jump to the priority to get to work with David or anyone again. But I am not so much interested in playing 30-year-old Tony. I think it there’s an interesting part after this movie, before the show, that we can explore something about Tony that hasn’t been explored, in his youth, in his 20s. After that, we’re getting a little too old. My dad really explored and David explored everything about that. So is there a time limit around other movies? No, not so much. But the older I get, there is a cutoff where it just naturally goes into the show.”
James Gandolfini played the role of Tony Soprano for six seasons on The Sopranos and won three prime-time Emmys for the role. The show was a massive hit for HBO and garnered a tremendous following throughout the years, and continues to be one that fans revisit. The show sparked the most controversy for its finale, which seemed to end abruptly and somewhat unceremoniously, which many believe was the point altogether.
Following in his father’s footsteps can’t be an easy task, especially with the weight of the role being so huge. Still, Gandolfini sounds like he has a firm grasp on not only the burden of that undertaking but the honor it brings to his father’s legacy. With early reviews for The Many Saints of Newark being resoundingly positive, many hope it will lead to more prequels or, potentially, an entire prequel series. Gandolfini seems game to continue exploring his father’s legacy while adding a new layer to the story of Tony Soprano, so the pieces look to be in place for that to happen if The Many Saints of Newark can reignite The Sopranos fever.