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RIP: Tony Soprano Has Left The Building


NEW YORK TIMES: Mr. Gandolfini, who had studied the Meisner technique of acting for two years, said that he used it to focus his anger and incorporate it into his performances. In an interview for the television series “Inside the Actors Studio,” Mr. Gandolfini said he would deliberately hit himself on the head or stay up all night to evoke the desired reaction. If you are tired, every single thing that somebody does makes you mad, Mr. Gandolfini said in the interview. “Drink six cups of coffee. Or just walk around with a rock in your shoe. It’s silly, but it works.” Tony Soprano — and the 2007 finale of “The Sopranos,” which cut to black before viewers could learn what plans a mysterious restaurant patron had for Tony as he enjoyed a relaxing meal with his wife and children — would continue to follow Mr. Gandolfini throughout his career. He went on to play a series of tough guys and heavies, including an angry Brooklyn parent in the Broadway drama “God of Carnage,” for which he was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009; the director of the C.I.A. in “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s dramatization of the hunt for Osama bin Laden; and a hit man in the 2012 crime thriller “Killing Them Softly.” In a 2010 interview with The New York Times, Mr. Gandolfini said that he was not worried about being typecast as Tony Soprano and that he was being offered different kinds of roles as he aged. “Mostly it’s not a lot of that stuff anymore with shooting and killing and dying and blood,” he said. “I’m getting a little older, you know. The running and the jumping and killing, it’s a little past me.” Asked why he did not appear in more comedies, he answered, “Nobody’s asked.” MORE

VARIETY: Gandolfini had an active career in movies, TV and on stage before he inhabited Tony Soprano. But it was the role created by David Chase of the New Jersey mob boss who decides to see a psychiatrist to deal with his emotional issues that catapulted him into mega-stardom. Balding and beefy, Gandolfini was not conventionally handsome but became a sex symbol through the show’s immense popularity. “He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time,” Chase said in a statement. “A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For (wife) Deborah and (children) Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.” MORE

RELATED: Q&A With Sopranos Creator David Chase

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