James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, might be playing a younger version of Tony Soprano in The Many Saints of Newark, but that doesn’t mean the 20-year-old actor was familiar with the character prior to landing the role.
In a recent interview with Esquire, Michael opened up about the highly anticipated prequel and revealed that he hadn’t seen a single episode of The Sopranos prior to auditioning for the movie.
“The funny thing is, before the audition, I had never watched a minute of The Sopranos…” he said. “I was just a kid when he was making it. I would go to the set and ask him what it was about, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s about this guy who’s in the mob and kind of goes to therapy.'”
Michael admitted that it wasn’t always easy watching his late father on the small screen, adding, “The hardest part of this whole process was watching the show for the first time. It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo. But then I’d also be seeing my father.”