For Millennials. By Millennials.
We all know that Livia Soprano was one of the best characters that television had ever seen. At first, it was planned that she would die at the end of Season 1 of The Sopranos. However, she was so liked by the audience that Chase decided to keep her on the show for two more seasons. But, fate had something else planned. Nancy Marchand, the actress behind Livia, passed away after her long battle with cancer. Because of this, her role was cut short till season 2. However, when The Sopranos cast was trying to shoot Livia’s funeral reception, they couldn’t stop laughing. Here’s what happened!
The Sopranos Cast shared a good laugh at Livia’s funeral reception
If you look closely, you can see that Livia’s final appearance in episode 1 of season 3 was actually CGI because of Nancy Marchand’s passing. As a result, episode 2 became a farewell for not only Livia but Nancy Marchand as well. However, while filming the funeral reception, the Sopranos cast had a good laugh.
Michael Imperioli mentioned that in episode 10 of his Talking Sopranos podcast with Steven Schirripa. All of us remember that scene because of Christopher Moltisanti’s crazy speech while he was high. But, The Sopranos cast found it even funnier to shoot.
You might remember that Janice (Aida Turturro) played the film version of “If I Loved You” from Carousel (1956) on the funeral reception. She claimed that it was Livia’s favorite song. Now, this was a very bizarre move by Janice, because everyone knew that no song could make Livia ever happy. It even drove The Sopranos cast members crazy. Michael Imperioli recalls:
We all just died laughing — it was horrible. We were all supposed to be serious … and we just couldn’t get it together. All of us, everybody.
The Sopranos cast found that song so funny that even the pros couldn’t resist. Imperioli said:
It was Suzanne Shepherd, Stevie Van Zandt, Drea de Matteo, and Edie [Falco] … and Jerry Adler, we could not stop laughing.
A perfect sendoff
However, Imperioli did say that it was the best way to send off Livia the character and Nancy Marchand the person. It was a great tribute to their colleague, as he said:
In some ways, it was the best send-off for Livia, and for Nancy. Because she was so beloved.
As crazy as Livia Soprano was, and Tony Soprano will agree to it, her character was sorely missed after she passed away. But, there was nothing that David Chase or the cast could do about it. Nancy Marchand was a loss for the viewers and the show, but life went on. Now, the other Sopranos cast members recall her fond memories and cherish them. If only Tony Soprano could say the same…