Michael Gandolfini on playing the young Tony Soprano in the new Sopranos prequel movie
"There were qualities about my dad in Tony Soprano, for sure."
In terms of casting, this seems like the most perfect idea ever.
Tony Soprano, the head of the family in HBO's iconic gangster drama The Sopranos, was once played by the late, great James Gandolfini.
In the prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, a younger version of Tony Soprano will be played by James' own son, Michael Gandolfini.
In the run-up to the movie's release, JOE was lucky enough to chat to some of the cast and creators, including stars Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr. and Michela De Rossi, as well as director Alan Taylor, and David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos.
Click through for their interviews, and you can check out the full interview with Michael Gandolfini right here:
During the chat, Michael reveals his favourite gangster movie of all time, as well as what he thinks of the ending to The Sopranos show.
He also talked about when he eventually got to watch the show for the first time, telling JOE the following:
"It was definitely not something that I was allowed to watch. I was born during the first season so it just wasn't a thing, and then even later on, he and my mom were both very much like, 'You are not gonna watch it'.
"My dad really wanted, he said 'I want you to know me, not Tony', so it was not something that I was really allowed to [watch]. But also, I was a kid, so it was like if you dad is a contractor, the last thing you're gonna want to do is go watch him build a house. I just didn't really think about it.
"The only thing that, thinking about, that I really wanted to see was – he was on Broadway. And he wouldn't let me see it for a while and I was so pissed that he wouldn't let me see it. And then we moved to LA and I got a little older and he let me see it. But it just wasn't a thought, and then when he passed I thought, 'Is this gonna be a thing to watch? Is this gonna be a hard experience?', so I sort of put it off."
Gandolfini also discusses finding the similarities and the differences in playing a young version of Tony Soprano and playing a young version of his own dad, telling us:
"There were qualities about my dad in Tony Soprano, for sure. Mostly the way he stands, I to study how to hold my shoulders, how to use my eyes and look around, the accent, obviously. But a lot of those things weren't my dad. They were, in some ways, a great performance.
"So I was able to separate them to play Tony – not my dad. So the accent, that is Tony. His triggers, the way he thinks about the world, his opinions, the way he touches his nose, all of that stuff was Tony, not my dad. In some ways, that helped. I think it was easier to play a character than it would have been to play my dad."
The Many Saints of Newark is in Irish cinemas from Wednesday, 22 September.
Clip via Warners UK & Ireland