James Gandolfini Jr. (born 18.9.1961) (Died: June 19, 2013) James Gandolfini is an American actor, best known for his role as the Mafia boss Tony Soprano in the hit TV series The Sopranos.
Childhood: James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, to Joan Gandolfini and James Gandolfini Sr. His mother was a school nutritionist and his father was a building maintenance officer at a high school.
Gandolfini's parents were Italian and devoutly Catholic. James spent part of his childhood in Italy and the family often conversed in Italian.
James Gandolfini attended Park Ridge High School in New Jersey. He often played basketball as well as acting in school plays and earned himself the title of 'Class Flirt'. When he graduated from high school, he studied for a BA in Communications at Rutgers University.
Before pursuing a career in acting, Gandolfini worked as a bartender as well as a nightclub manager. Whilst living in New York City, he went with a friend to acting classes and he landed a job promoting Rutgers football in a TV commercial with Greg Schiano.
Acting Career: One of James Gandolfini's earliest acting roles was in a 1992 production of On The Waterfront on Broadway. He acted in the play for six months and the following year, landed a role in the cult classic, True Romance, starring Christian Slater Patricia Arquette and Dennis Hopper.
In 1994, Gandolfini played Ben Pinkwater in Terminal Velocity, opposite Charlie Sheen and Nastassja Kinski. This was followed by a role as a conscientious mob enforcer in The Juror.
James Gandolfini then appeared as an ex-stuntman from the South, in Get Shorty, the film adaptation that starred Gene Hackman, John Travolta, Danny DeVito and Rene Russo.
The Sopranos debuted on HBO in 1999. In the mafia-based drama, James Gandolfini played the role of mafia boss Tony Soprano. Gandolfini has won three Emmy awards for his performance in the show and it has been reported that his salary eventually rose to around $1 million per episode. Other actors in the series include Lorraine Braco, Edie Falco and Michael Imperioli.
James Gandolfini again worked with HBO in 2007 when he co-produced a documentary entitled Alive Day: Home From Iraq, focusing on US veterans of the Iraq war. He interviewed 10 former soldiers about issues such as their re-integration into society.
In the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, James Gandolfini played the mayor of New York. Later that year, Gandolfini returned to stage work, appearing in God of Carnage on Broadway with Hope Davis, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden.
James Gandolfini has also had roles in a number of other significant movies, such as 8MM with Nicolas Cage, Crimson Tide with Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and All The King's Men, with Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Anthony Hopkins.
Private Life: Gandolfini is a fan of motorbikes and owns a Harley Davidson bike, as well as a Vespa scooter. In 2006, whilst on his scooter, he was hit by a taxi cab and forced to undergo surgery on his knee. The incident caused the crew of The Sopranos to postpone the filming of the last few episodes.
James Gandolfini was previously married to Marcy Wudarski, with whom he has one child. They divorced in 2002 and Gandolfini subsequently married Deborah Lin in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2008.
David Chase spoke about 'The Sopranos'' famously cryptic ending in a new interview.
It’s arguably the most famous ending to a popular TV series ever, but nobody seems to have clue as to what the final sequence of ‘The Sopranos’ actually meant. However, we might have just been given a big piece of the puzzle by the show’s director David Chase.
In a new interview with Directors Guild of America Quarterly, Chase gave an overview of the very last few minutes of the final season, which notoriously finishes with a cut to black after a series of seemingly disconnected shots of the show’s characters converging on a café, to the soundtrack of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’.
'The Sopranos' James Gandolfini and David Chase
Continue reading: 'The Sopranos' Director David Chase Sheds Light On Series' Ending
A slow-burning intensity sets this crime thriller apart from the crowd, directed by Belgian filmmaker Michael Roskam with a sharp focus on flawed characters who continually surprise each other. It's also a strikingly involving screenplay by Dennis Lehane, an author known for flashier thrillers like Mystic River and Shutter Island (this is his first film script, based on his short story Animal Rescue). All of this pays off with terrific performances from an excellent cast and situations that genuinely shake up the audience, even if it remains moody and subdued right to the end.
It's set in Brooklyn, where bars take turns acting as the mafia drop point for the day's takings. And after Cousin Marv's Bar is robbed on a non-drop day, Chechen gangster Chovka (Michael Aronov) is furious. Even though he has assumed ownership of the bar from Marv (James Gandolfini), Chovka orders him to get the $5,000 back, implying that Marv knows the thieves. So Marv turns to his mild-mannered barman Bob (Tom Hardy) for help. Bob knows how to keep his head down, and as he works on finding the cash, he discovers an abused puppy abandoned in a trash can outside the home of Nadia (Noomi Rapace), who helps him nurse the dog back to health. But the puppy - and Nadia - were both cast aside by the thuggish Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts), who doesn't want to let anything go.
Viewers expecting an action-packed crime thriller might be disappointed by the muted tone of this film, but it's the kind of story that worms its way under the skin, creating complex characters who are constantly revealing new details about themselves as the situation inexorably escalates around them. Hardy is simply superb, layering all kinds of emotions into Bob's actions as he struggles to maintain his composure while everyone around him does something inexplicable. As a result, the film's final act is a sequence of heart-stopping moments that make the most of the witty, nervy and darkly gritty scenes that went before.
Continue reading: The Drop Review
Tom Hardy's latest movie, and American crime thriller, has a distinctly European tone and art-house style.
For such a deeply American story, written by that chronicler of blue-collar New England life Dennis Lehane, the new crime thriller 'The Drop' boasts a strikingly foreign pedigree. Which probably explains why it has surprised many American critics with its distinctly European arthouse tone. In Time Magazine, Richard Corliss writes, "You have to sit through the slow parts to savour the cool parts."
The film is directed by Michael Roskam, the Belgian filmmaker whose tough drama 'Bullhead' was nominated for the foreign-language Oscar in 2012. For 'The Drop' he reteams with that film's lead actor, fellow Belgian Matthias Shoenaerts, who after 'Bullhead' garnered acclaim in two films co-starring Marion Cotillard ('Rust & Bone' and 'Blood Ties'), and will soon be seen opposite Kate Winslet in the British-French period rom-com 'A Little Chaos'.
Continue reading: 'The Drop' Starring Tom Hardy Is A European Invasion
'The Drop' is among James Gandolfini's finest achievement as an actor.
It seems opportunist and downright lazy to suggest Michael R. Roskam's new crime-drama is a "fitting" final film for the late James Gandolfini. The Brooklyn-born actor, who died suddenly of a heart attack in Italy in 2013, delivered a ton of extraordinary performances in his career - not least in the excellent Enough Said - though as cousin Marv in the intense, brooding The Drop, his finest talents as an actor are clearly on show.
The Drop focuses on Tom Hardy's Bob Saginowski, who funnels cash to local gangsters through his place of work. However, under the heavy hand of his employer (Ganfolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone and awry and a subsequent investigation digs deep into the neighbourhood's criminal underground.
Continue reading: 'The Drop' Features Tour-de-Force Performance from James Gandolfini
'The Drop' is an assured movie, starring James Gandolfini and Tom Hardy.
It would be easy to become sentimental and profess 'The Drop' - the final movie starring the late James Gandolfini - as the finest of his career. A movie that perfectly encapsulated every inch of his craft. The Drop is probably not that movie - Enough Said is that movie - but Michael R Roskam's thriller is an accomplished movie that features a commanding central performance from the Sopranos man, who is effortlessly supported by the talented Tom Hardy.
James Gandolfini in 'The Drop'
The British actor plays bartender Bob Saginowski, who funnels cash to local gangsters from his Brooklyn drinking hole. However, under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and a subsequent investigation digs deep into the neighbourhood's criminal past.
Continue reading: James Gandolfini's Swansong 'The Drop' Is a Thrilling, Fitting End
Seven years after HBO's The Sopranos ended with that black screen - apparently fooling some viewers into thinking their TV's were on the blink - David Chase has inadvertently dug up the whole thing. It's weird how this story has developed over the past couple of days but it goes something like this...
Did Tony die at the end of The Sopranos? [Getty]
In a Vox article earlier this week, a journalist quoted David Chase as saying Tony Soprano did not die at the end of the show - as has been assumed by many fans. Though Chase initially reacted angrily to the question, he apparently gave a straight-up answer anyhow. However, after the story went viral, Chase's representatives later released a statement saying he was misconstrued and that he did not give a definite answer.
Continue reading: Was 'The Sopranos' Ending Based on 'The Last Supper'?
David Chase has played down a quote in which he appeared to say that Tony Soprano did not die at the end of The Sopranos - but does it matter?
David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, has responded to the story that set the internet alight on Wednesday in which he was quoted as saying Tony Sopranos - played by James Gandolfini - had lived at the end of the HBO drama. The fate of Tony is still regarded as one of the biggest mysteries in TV drama though Chase appeared to hint at what really happened during a discussion with a Vox journalist.
James Gandolfini [L] and David Chase [R] working on 'The Sopranos'
The author of the article - Martha P. Nochimson- had written that Chase had initially lashed out after being asked the question as to whether Tony was dead, but nevertheless gave a straight answer.
Continue reading: David Chase Backtracks, Maybe Tony Soprano DID Die in that Diner
Amazon has launched its own music streaming service.
Amazon is tipping it toe into the saturated online music streaming business by launching ‘Prime Music’ – its own service that will be available free for subscribers of Amazon Prime. It launched on Thursday (June 12) with over 1 million songs from some of the world’s most popular artists, including Beyonce, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna.
In fairness, Spotify probably doesn’t have much to sweat about given Amazon are pretty open about not focusing on new releases given its limited catalogue. The company does not have a deal with Universal Music Group, meaning Music Prime users will not have access to the likes of Kanye West, Katy Perry or Taylor Swift.
Continue reading: Look Out Spotify – Amazon Launches Audio Streaming Service ‘Prime Music’
While GoT proves its muscle, The Sopranos can never be truly usurped
The inevitable news that Game of Thrones surpassed The Sopranos as HBO’s most ‘popular’ show arrived, rather pertinently, via a Tweet. "Raise a glass of Arbor gold. #GameofThrones is the most popular series in @HBO history. Thanks to the worldwide realm for all your support," it read.
James Gandolfini died in 2013
The Tweet is pertinent because it neatly frames Game of Thrones in history. HBO’s epic, multifaceted fantasy drama has thrived in a culture of sharing, spoiler warnings and episode discussion. As an online entertainment writer, I hear about GoT probably 8 million times a day. Those not involved in the industry will only see it cross their radar a few thousand times.
Continue reading: Game of Thrones vs. The Sopranos: Is Popularity Indicative of Quality?
Tom Hardy will be starring in 'Taboo', a BBC One period drama produced by Sir Ridley Scott.
Tom Hardy has teamed up with his father on the upcoming BBC project.
Taboo will follow Hardy as an adventurer who, whilst developing his own shipping company, is faced with the competition in the form of the East India Company. Set in 1813, Taboo will see Hardy's character, James Delaney, deal with a whole form of commercial sabotage from the trading company, as the BBC reports.
Continue reading: Tom Hardy To Work With Ridley Scott On BBC Period Drama 'Taboo'
Tom, Arnie and Hugh pick up honours at the Empire Awards, while the stars of Noah, The Other Woman and Divergent walk red carpets in London. And new trailers arrive for films starring Shailene Woodley, Cameron Diaz, Tom Hardy, Dwayne Johnson and Scarlett Johansson...
Tom Cruise, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hugh Jackman and Emma Thompson were all on hand for Sunday night's Empire Awards in London, a lively and colourful event with most winners chosen by the magazine's readers. Cruise was named The Legend of Our Lifetime, while Schwarzenegger was crowned The Action Hero of Our Lifetime and Jackman picked up the Empire Icon Award.
There was also a flurry of high-profile premieres in London this past week. Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Ray Winstone walked a watery-style carpet for Noah; Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton were on hand for The Other Woman; and Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Theo James dazzled the fans for Divergent.
'The Drop' is James Gandolfini's final movie.
The trailer for The Drop - James Gandolfini's final movie before his untimely death last year - has rolled out online. Co-starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, the crime-drama centers on Brooklyn's gangster underworld and particularly a bar owned by Gandolfini's Freddie that acts as a premises for criminal 'drops' of cash.
James Gandolfini in 'The Drop'
Freddie's cousin Ronnie, played by Hardy, works as a bartender, but a robbery upsets the fine balance of their lives.
Bob Saginowski works behind the bar at Cousin Marv's in Brooklyn - an establishment often referred to by local criminals as a 'drop bar'. It's where all the money in the town, acquired by illicit means, is dropped off and kept safe from rival gangs and authorities. However, Cousin Marv's turns out to be less safe than they thought when two masked armed robbers break in while Bob and Marv are cashing up and demand all the money. Despite Marv's warnings about who they are really stealing from, the thieves leave with their loot and Marv and Bob find themselves in a sticky situation when one mean crime boss wants it back. Getting involved in circumstances like this is the last thing these guys want and Marv starts to wish he was as well-respected as he used to be. After a vicious killing occurs, the stakes get higher. Will the duo manage to win back the mob's money? And what's the significance of a lost pitbull puppy?
Continue: The Drop Trailer
The space thriller was the night's biggest winner, taking home seven gongs in total
On the same day as the nominations for this year's Academy Awards ceremony were revealed, the latest instalment of the ongoing awards season went by at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, where the 19th annual Critic's Choice Awards honoured the cast and crew of some of last's year's biggest and best films.
Gravity soared to success at the Critic's Choice Awards
The big winner on the night was the space thriller Gravity, which soared to success with seven wins by the end of the night. Among it's credits the film earned Alfonso Cuarón the award for Best Director and the award for Best Editing, shared with co-editor Mark Sanger. The film also earned Sandra Bullock the award for Best Actress In An Action Movie and was crowned as crowned the Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie. The film also scored recognition for Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Score.
James Gandolfini is celebrated posthumously as a stretch of street in his New Jersey hometown is dedicated to him.
The late Golden Globe winning actor James Gandolfini was honored at the weekend with a New Jersey street being dedicated to him in a packed out ceremony.
'The Sopranos' star passed away in June 2013, but his hometown are certainly not forgetting him any time soon. On Sunday (December 1st 2013), crowds of fans and friends flocked to Park Avenue in Park Ridge where a section of road near his teenage hangout, the Ridge Diner, was closed off as the Mayor Terence Maguire presided over a commemorative dedication of a stretch of the avenue.
Continue reading: James Gandolfini Attracts 'Mob' At Park Avenue Dedication Ceremony