Gandolfini won three Emmy awards for his role as New Jersey mob chief Tony Soprano in the HBO drama, “The Sopranos.”
But off-screen, people who knew Gandolfini said he was quite different from the gruff character we watched on TV.
Here are five communication-related insights into James Gandolfini, the New Jersey native who graduated from Rutgers University and appeared on Broadway:
- “’The Sopranos’ all came down to the writing. I wouldn’t have been on for as long as I was if the writing weren’t so good.”
- “I’ve been very lucky, considering what I look like and what I do.”
- “Good writing will bring you to places you don’t even expect sometimes.”
- “Part of the fun of acting is the research, finding out about other people.”
- “Standing in public in other people’s clothes, pretending to be someone else. It’s a strange way for a grown man to make a living.”
On screen, Tony Soprano’s vernacular was a bit different. Tony, the character, will be remembered for his Jersey demeanor and sharp tongue.
On leadership: “You’re supposed to be earners. That’s why you’ve got the top positions.”
On accountability: “It’s my mess. All my choices we wrong.”
On rules: “If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”
On feelings: “Oh, poor baby. What do you want, a Whitman’s Sampler? ”
On wise guys: “One thing about us wise guys. The hustle never ends.”
In 2009, James Gandolfini appeared on “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” Host James Lipton ended the interview with a question he poses to all of his guests: “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?” Gandolfini paused, smiled, and said, “Take over for a while, I’ll be right back!”