Revisiting the Sopranos’ world in “The Many Saints of Newark”

Correspondent Jim Axelrod requested “Sopranos” creator David Chase, “The place did all that come from, the remedy half and the mom half?”

“Properly, I used to be in remedy, and nicely, really, due to my mom, you understand?” shrugged Chase.

After six seasons, in 86 episodes, to a spot on nearly each critic’s record of most influential reveals ever, after Tony Soprano’s North Jersey mafia household rewrote the foundations spurning community requirements for the liberty of cable, after Chase gave us a brutal mob boss who spent periods along with his shrink speaking about his mom … he knew precisely what he’d hear as soon as he cut-to-black within the collection finale 14 years in the past: “People who I meet socially would say, ‘Are you gonna do extra? Oh, it’s best to do extra!'”

“Have been you at all times considering, ‘By no means. I am performed’?” requested Axelrod.


It seems, he wasn’t performed.

Actor James Gandolfini’s dying in 2013 meant a sequel was out.  So, Chase went the opposite means: a film “prequel,” set 30-plus years earlier than the present. “The Many Saints of Newark” is the story of Dickie Moltisanti, a father-figure to the younger Tony who’d been talked about on “The Sopranos,” however by no means fleshed out.

Chase mentioned, “I went again over my recollections and I believed, ‘Oh, yeah, Dickie Moltisanti. There was all that speak about him. And he was actually a, you understand, badass. I am focused on that. I might like to search out out who that man was.'”

Watch a trailer for “The Many Saints of Newark”:

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Axelrod requested, “This is not a Tony Soprano origin story?”

“No, it isn’t. We needed to make a gangster film. We did not wish to make an ‘origin story’; we needed to make a gangster film.”

No matter Chase’s intentions, a prequel meant assembly youthful variations of such well-known and beloved characters as Silvio, Uncle Junior, and Tony’s mom, Livia, and ensuring they rang true.

Axelrod requested, “The place’s the road between honoring the integrity of the character and parody?”

“Sopranos” creator David Chase.

CBS Information

“Principally casting; that is principally the place the road is,” Chase mentioned.

“Greater than writing?”

“Yeah, I feel so.” 

Actor John Magaro performs the younger Silvio Dante, Tony Soprano’s eventual right-hand man (performed by Steve Van Zandt within the present). “I felt this obligation to those characters as a fan of ‘The Sopranos,'” Magaro mentioned. “For me, it began with, you understand, the puss he has. Form of the frown is, after which it will get into the shoulders just a little bit. After which it is, you understand, he at all times has his arms form of like this.”

Magaro mentioned the stress to seize the essence of those iconic characters, and never do impressions of them, was felt cast-wide: “Nothing is like enjoying a personality the place you have received hundreds of thousands of rabid followers who’re able to pounce on you on the slightest mistake and, you understand, this’ll come out in a couple of weeks, and I will have to show my cellphone off and web for a couple of weeks, as a result of it may be scary as hell. You understand, they are going to come at us.”

No alternative might be extra scrutinized than the actor solid to play the younger Tony Soprano.

Axelrod requested, “Did you audition different actors?”

“Sure,” Chase replied. “We auditioned different actors previous to him.”

“Him” is Michael Gandolfini, James Gandolfini’s son.

“When you auditioned him, you knew?”


Michael advised Axelrod his first intuition was to say “no.” “It comes with stress. It comes with the accountability. After which, an entire ‘nother layer of, you understand, enjoying my Dad’s half.”

However then he did one thing that he’d by no means performed earlier than: Watch the “Sopranos” collection. “That’s true, yeah, I’ve by no means seen it.

“My Dad handed, so it was form of a factor, like, it may be onerous, I do not actually wish to open that up proper now. After which, I watched the primary season earlier than the audition and simply fell in love. I used to be so pleased with my dad.”

He studied James’ work, particularly these remedy scenes: “Hours with a personality who has triggers and impulses and a mindset – it is such a present. I’ve hours inside a thoughts that I am about to play.”

Net unique: Michael Gandolfini talks about taking up his father’s iconic position:

Michael Gandolfini on enjoying a younger Tony Soprano by
CBS Sunday Morning on

The present was sufficient confidence to provide it a go, regardless of the shadows and footsteps he knew he’d confront. Axelrod requested, “Did any a part of you suppose, you understand what? I am good, I do not want to do that.”

“I do not know when you’ve ever jumped out of a aircraft or one thing, however you go and also you look again and also you go, How did I try this?” Gandolfini mentioned. “Typically it baffles me, too, that I simply kind of did it! Yeah, I suppose if I had thought of it an excessive amount of, it might have crippled me.”

Axelrod requested Chase, “Have been you in any respect involved, any a part of your calculus, ‘What if this does not work? What consequence would possibly there be for Michael?'”

“No,” Chase replied. “He is an actor, he desires to work, he desires to be a star or no matter. No. I imply, what’s he now, 20, 22? ‘You requested for it!'”

David Chase is aware of he is requested for it as nicely with “The Many Saints of Newark”: “I at all times suppose to myself, ‘When are folks gonna get uninterested in this household?'”

“How ’bout, by no means?” Axelrod mentioned.

“I imply, I suppose that is attainable, yeah. That is simply not the best way I feel.”

Realizing one factor he can rely on from the prolonged household of passionate “Sopranos” followers is an unvarnished reply.

Axelrod mentioned, “I am asking [you], a man who’s at this stage: Does it nonetheless matter?”

“Yeah,” Chase replied. “I imply, I am one human being attempting to speak with a pair million human beings, and what they reply to me, after all it issues. If they are saying, ‘You shocked me,’ or, ‘That was attention-grabbing,’ that issues, versus, ‘Hey, ass****,’ you understand? ‘We noticed that already.'”

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Story produced by David Rothman. Editor: Mike Levine. 

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