James Gandolfini acted out a scene as his celebrated TV character TONY SOPRANO in order to prove his identity to a video store clerk.

The 42-year-old THE SOPRANOS star decided to rent a film in his native New York, but forgot to take his wallet and ID with him.

However, the hapless shop assistant didn't recognise the famous actor - who plays the mob boss in the critically-acclaimed TV smash - and refused to let him take a video home without ID.

So James decided to do a turn as Tony Soprano while other movie fans confirmed his authenticity.

James said, "You saying you don't f***ing recognise Tony Soprano, punk?"

An onlooker says, "It was hilarious. James was signing autographs but this guy just didn't get it.

"James went into Tony mode to the delight of other shoppers. We cheered when, eventually, the cashier saw sense and let him rent the movie."

23/11/2003 13:51