For Millennials. By Millennials.
The one thing we hear from each of The Sopranos’ cast member is that James Gandolfini was an extraordinary man. Literally everyone from the show talks about him with great love. But, as it turns out his generosity extended to his pocket as well. He once refused to come to work until every one of the cast members got a raise. Moreover, he even paid the 16 cast members $33,000 each from his own pocket!
James Gandolfini had a very big heart
There’s no secret that Gandolfini was a very humble and amazing human being. In the latest Talking Sopranos podcast, casting director Georgianne Walken recalled the incident when Gandolfini refused to come to work:
Remember when he wouldn’t go back to work until you all got a raise? His agent after getting money for him, and he said ‘oh no no no, not just me, everybody’.
Then, Steve Schirripa mentions that James Gandolfini did more than just refusing to come to work. He paid the 16 cast members of The Sopranos $33,000 from his own pocket! Moreover, he always supported the cast whenever they had some issues over money with the studios. Schirripa said:
He (Gandolfini) gave us all a cheque, which we all talked about. He gave us all a cheque for $33,000 each. 16 people. The main cast, he called us in. He always watched out. I mean I remember at one point, money-wise, we were in a negotiation and it got a little ugly and Jim was whatever you guys want to do, he was in.
This was indeed an incredible deed by James Gandolfini. But, it wasn’t the only good that he did onset or for others.
The Sopranos cast can never forget him
There are several stories from The Sopranos that show how big a heart James Gandolfini had. For example, Jamie-Lynn Sigler said he helped her a lot with her acting. Moreover, Michael Imperioli also mentioned that Gandolfini’s untimely laugh when Michael rammed a car in the pilot episode helped ease his nerves. Moreover, Steven Van Zandt always said that Gandolfini helped him a lot while he tried to act. He repeatedly said that once you worked with Jim, you walked away as a better actor.
This is why James Gandolfini passed away in 2013, the entire cast of the show was in absolute tears. He was always called the glue that held them together, the leader that guided them. And when they lost him, everyone poured their heart out in this tribute.