As I’m sure you have heard by now (because we all have regular jobs here at MWTVG because you the reader haven’t done enough to help this site make enough money to make us rich allowing us to sit around all day and break news stories like those lazy asses over at CNN), actor James Gandolfini has died at the age of 51.
While most well known for his role as mobster Tony Soprano on the HBO mega-hit The Sopranos, James Gandolfini I’ll remember him for other roles that maybe not everyone thinks of him for.
I first came to know who this guy was in one of my top 3 favorite movies of all time, 1993s True Romance. Gandolfini played a mob enforcer (type cast early?) that absolutely kicks the ever loving crap out of Patricia Arquette’s character Alabama.
His next memorable roles for me both came in 1995. First he played a jack-ass Navy officer who was siding with a nuclear war happy Captain in Crimson Tide and then played a washed up Hollywood stunt man working for a 2 bit gangster in the fantastic Get Shorty.
In 1999, Gandolfini changed from a character actor that you would probably recognize in to a leading man that everyone would come to know when The Sopranos premiered on HBO. After that, things would never be the same for him. He won 3 Emmys as Tony Soprano and he became a household name. Everyone knew the mafia don that was seeing a shrink. While the finale was one of the most disappointing series finales on record, the show overall will go down in history as one of the best that has been on TV.
James Gandolfini was who he was. He was a character and he played it to the best of his ability. He always played some kind of a mob guy or a hit man or tough guy but he did it in a way that showed there was another side to him. Contrast Gandolfini’s characters Joe Pesci has played as a mafioso and you can see how Gandolfini presented another side to what you thought about mobsters. Giving the viewer another dimension is what made even a killer like Tony Soprano likable and made you root for him. It was a gift that he had and it really is sad that he is gone so young.
RIP James Gandolfini (1961-2013).