Sopranos Cast Then And Now

By Aaron Love 1 year ago

James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) Then

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Tony Soprano is the boss of the DiMeo family throughout the series. He often does what he has to in order for the family and the organsation to survive and prosper. This includes the killings of many people, including his cousin Christopher and Salvatore and FBI Informant. He is married to Carmella but often engages in a number of extramarital affairs.

James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) Now

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Prior to Sopranos, Gandolfini had already made a name for himself with appearances in True Romance and Get Shorty. Following his popular role as Tony, Gandolfini went on to sign a deal with HBO to develop original programming; he was part of the team that made documentaries surrounding PTSD and Iraq War Veterans. James Gandolfini was unfortunately taken too early and died in 2013 aged 51.

Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano) Then

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Carmela is Tony's wife and she is always supporting of him despite his affairs. Despite their arguments and brief breakups, she knows that the money Tony can provide through the mafia offers the lifestyle she wants for both herself and also her children Meadow and Anthony.

Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano) Now

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Carmela was very much Falco's breakout role in the industry, something she won two Golden Globe Awards for! Following the show she was cast as the titular character in Showtime's Nurse Jackie and she also began playing Leslie in the first season of yet another Law & Order spin off, True Crime, in 2017.

Lorraine Bracco (Jennifer Melfi) Then

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Jennifer Melfi is Tony Soprano's psychiatrist and very much one of the only people that somehwat understands Tony's mind. She is compelled to help Tony even though she knows that's unlikely and there is a consistent sexual tension between the two characters. She is raped in the show and is torn as to whether to get Tony to kill the man who did it.

Lorraine Bracco (Jennifer Melfi) Now

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Lorraine's role as mobster wife Karen in Goodfellas was very much what persuaded casters to make her audition for Jennifer! She was cast as one of the titular characters, Angela Rizzoli, in the TNT drama Rizzoli and Isles and in 2016 she began appearing in a recurring role in Showtime's Dice.

Michael Imperioli (Chris Moltisanti) Then

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Chris Moltisanti is Tony's cousin and a member of the DiMeo mobster family. He is often seen to be erratic, which gets him into trouble with Tony; and ultimately leads to his death in season 6. Tony is forced to kill him due to his fears he might betray him as a result!

Michael Imperioli (Chris Moltisanti) Now

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Imperioli also featured in the film Goodfella's as Spider prior to The Sopranos and he also had a role in Bad Boys. He didn't have particularly large roles for a number of years following the show until he was cast as the lead in Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector and in the second season of The White Lotus. He also co-hosts a Sopranos Podcast!

Dominic Chianese (John Jr Soprano) Then

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Uncle Junior was the former boss of the DiMeo mob family until he deteriorated with dementia. Although him and Tony didn't see eye to eye at all, Tony still came to Junior as a voice of experience, although towards the end of the series he becomes unable to survive alone. He nearly kills Tony by shooting him after his dementia kicks in!

Dominic Chianese (John Jr Soprano) Now

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Dominic also appeared in a popular mobster film before The Sopranos, as Johnny in The Godfather Part II, the first of four films with Al Pacino. Since the show he appeared in a number of films and popular shows including The Good Wife, Boardwalk Empire and The Village. He appears to have retired from acting in 2019.

Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) Then

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Paulie is an underboss in the DiMeo mobster family. He comes across as a psychopath and appears to be paranoid and often referring to supernatural things he sees in his mind. Despite his ruthlessness and eccentricity he is one of Tony's most trusted friends.

Tony Sirico (Paulie Walnuts) Now

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Prior to his acting career, Sirico was actually convicted of several crimes! He appeared in a number of gangster films including: Goodfellas, The Pick-up Artist and Gotti. He also voiced characters on Family Guy and American Dad a few times. He unfortunately died in 2022 but is set to appear posthumously in 2023's Super Athlete.

Vincent Pastore (Salvatore Bonpensiero) Then

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Salvatore was a soldier in the Soprano crew and a member of the DiMeo mobster family. He was a trusted friend of Tony Soprano athough he turned on him after being caught by the FBI and forced to become an informant for them against Tony. He was shot dead by Tony after he was found out.

Vincent Pastore (Salvatore Bonpensiero) Now

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Pastore was another member of The Soprano's cast that featured in Goodfellas and he also appeared in Gotti. He has since appeared in roles in: Shark Tale, American Cousins and The Family. He also had recurring roles in Pair of Kings, and Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He last appeared on our screens in 2021.

Joseph R. Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore) Then

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Vito was another member of the DiMeo mobster family, and married to Marie Spatafore, although in the later seasons we see him explore his bisexual side! He was killed after Tony arranged a hit on him, knowing his rival, a homophobe would have him killed anyway. Unfortunately, they got their hands on him first!

Joseph R. Gannascoli (Vito Spatafore) Now

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After the show, much of Gannascoli's career as come in the form of small appearances in TV and Film with guest roles in shows like: Law & Order, White Collar and recurring roles in Vengeance and also John the Thief. He is set to appear in Fight Valley 2: Lockdown upon its release.

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) Then

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Silvio Dante is another of Tony's most trusted consiglieres and he also owns and runs the Bada-Bing which is the headquarters for the DiMeo family. He is the cool-headed member of the family and he is often the last one to resort to violence and so Tony often comes to him for a more chilled out discussion. He ends the series in a coma following an altercation with the Lupertazzi family.

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) Now

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Crazily, Van Zandt was friends and a bandmate of Bruce Springsteen and part of his E Street Band! The Soprano's was actually his first atste of acting experience, a tough first gig for sure! In 2011 he appeared, co-wrote and produced Lilyhammer for netflix which ran for 3 seasons. He also appeared in The Irishman, one of Scorcese's classics.

Robert Iler (A.J Soprano) Then

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A.J is Tony and Carmela Soprano's only son, although he seems to lack the potential to become a member of the DiMea crime family. Throughout, he is seen to just act as a permanent source of stress and anxiety for his parents and he even struggles academically. He becomes depressed as a result of failed relationships and aspirations towards the later seasons.

Robert Iler (A.J Soprano) Now

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Robert Iler pretty much retired from acting following The Soprano's only appearing once again on our screens after the show in an episode of Law & Order. These days, Iler actually pursues a career in as a professional poker player in Las Vegas and he also hosts a podcast with Jamie-Lynn Sigler.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano) Then

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Meadow is Tony and Carmela's only daughter and the older sister of A.J. She briefly dated Jackie Aprile Jr. although they broke up when she found out he was cheating on her. By the end of the series she was engaged to Patrick Parisi and appears to be beginning a career in Law.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (Meadow Soprano) Now

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Following The Sopranos, Sigler appeared in 13 episodes of Entourage and also had recurring roles in Ugly Betty and Guys with Kids. She also starred in the thriller Beneath the Dark and as of 2021 she began a recurring role in Big Sky as Tonya where she is now seen to be a main character.

Aida Turtorro (Janice Soprano) Then

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Janice is Tony Soprano's sister and throughout the series we see that their relationship is strained, with him accusing her of leaving him to deal with their abusive mother alone. She was engaged to Richie Aprile but killed him following an abusive incident and Tony Helped dispose of the body showing they still trust and love eachother.

Aida Turtorro (Janice Soprano) Now

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After The Sopranos, Turturro has made appearances in CBS' Medium and also for an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Other appearances have come in Blue Bloods and also in a recurring role as Judge Catano in Law & Order. She also portrayed Maura Figgis in popular comedy sitcom Brooklyn 99.

Drea de Matteo (Adriana La Cerva) Then

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Adriana La Cerva was the girlfriend and former ex-fiancee of Chris Moltisanti; she originally came across as materialistic and just wanted what money could get her. She was also turned in to an informant by the FBI after they found out about Chris' heroin problems, she tried to hide this and all information from the FBI but she was killed by Silvio once Chris turned her in to Tony.

Drea de Matteo (Adriana La Cerva) Now

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Drea also played Joey Tribbiani's sister in the friends Spinoff Joey for its 2 season run, and had a recurring role in the first 6 seasons of Sons of Anarchy as Wendy Case. She also had a run as Angie Bolen in season 6 of Desperate Housewives. She also starred alongside Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta in 2015's NBC drama Shades of Blue.

John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco) Then

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Artie is one of Tony's closest childhood friends and also owner of a restaurant the family regularly go to. He is often used as comic relief, seen to be a bit of a fool and someone who seems to be unaware of his flaws. He likes to follow his own path and can be seen arguing with people who give him suggestions!

John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco) Now

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Following the end of The Sopranos, Ventimiglia has appeared in guest roles in: Law & Order, Made in Jersey, and The Blacklist and he also had a recurring guest role as Dino Arbogast in Blue Bloods. He had a similar role in the Netflix Marvel series Jessica Jones as Detective Costa.

Steven R. Schirripa (Bobby Bacala) Then

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Bobby Bacala worked under Junior and later Tony Soprano, becoming an underboss in the DiMeo mobster family. He was well-liked although not fully respected due to his shy and sweet nature, which left him open to ridicule, usually weight jokes. He is killed following an assasination attempt set up by Phil Leotardo.

Steven R. Schirripa (Bobby Bacala) Now

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Following the Sopranos, Schirripa has had recurring roles in: Brothers, Call Me Fitz and Benders. He has also had main roles in The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Leo and he continues to portray Anthony Abetemarco since the inception of Blue Bloods making over 100 appearances in this role.

Surprising facts about The Sopranos: it was initially a movie idea

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There are many great mobster movies out there, and The Sopranos was almost one of them. The original pitch was to have it as a movie about a mob boss who talks through his problems with his therapist. The creator was then advised by his manager to consider it for a TV show instead (and we're glad he did!).

Real mobsters thought the show was scarily accurate

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Many crime shows and movies exaggerate things or get things a little wrong. But not The Sopranos! It was so scarily accurate that apparently, according to FBI wire taps, all real-life mobsters could talk about was the TV show, and how they thought there was an 'inside man' getting info because of how accurate it was!

Livia Soprano was going to die in the first season

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Originally, the character of Livia Soprano - Tony's mother - was supposed to die in the very first season, and namely having Tony be the one that kills her. But after the actress who played her, Nancy Marchand, got sick, she asked the show runners to keep her job going.

And Livia's actress passed away before shooting her final scenes

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Because of the actress's request, Livia was kept in as a character until the very end of the show, but tragically the actress herself didn't make it that far. She passed away from cancer before she had chance to film her final scenes, and the show runners had to use old footage and special effects instead.

Tony wasn't supposed to be so ruthless

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When he was originally written, Tony was a lot more toned down that he is on screen - and it was thanks to the actor himself for making Tony more ruthless. For scenes where he gets physical, the actor would step it up a notch, making the writers realize Tony would naturally be more ruthless than they'd first thought.

Dr Melfi was inspired by a real-life therapist

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The creator of The Sopranos was seeing a therapist himself during the time he was creating the show, and he then modelled Dr Melfi off his own therapist! He was inspired by his own therapist's way of not pulling any punches, and he even told her she'd inspired the character.

Steven Van Zandt was actually the original pick for Tony

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Before James Gandolfini took the lead role and made it his own, the showrunners actually wanted Steven Van Zandt (who played Silvio Dante) to play Tony, and a lot of that was because of them being a huge fan of his music. But Gandolfini auditioned, and the rest is history.

Michael Imperioli ALMOST blew his audition

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Michael Imperioli played Tony's nephew/cousin, but it wasn't smooth sailing from the beginning! When he had his audition, he kept getting notes and direction from the show runners - so much so that he thought he completely blew it and walked out thinking he'd never get the job.

Drea de Matteo played an unnamed role in the pilot episode

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Drea de Matteo played a huge role in the show as Adriana, but she was originally not supposed to be cast long-term. She appeared in the pilot as an unnamed hostess after auditioning for Adriana but failing to get the job because they thought she wasn't Italian enough! But once the show made it past the pilot, she was hired for the bigger role.

Tony Sirico's life was the main inspiration for most of Paulie's storyline

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The actor who played Paulie, Tony Sirico, was actually a criminal in a former life, with a fair few arrests to his name. Much of his character's storyline was taken directly from his own experiences - and even Paulie's quirks like his preference for everything being neat and tidy was taken from the actor himself!

What was Tony's actual worth?

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The show's creators actually worked with a consultant to better understand the amount of money the mob would be making - specifically, how much the head Tony would be worth. It was estimated he was worth around 5 or 6 million dollars, but had it go up and down because of his penchant for gambling!

Steven Schirripa had to wear a fat suit

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The actor who played Bobby was anything but fat when he was cast in the role, so was a little confused when he read the script's fat jokes! But the creators already had it covered, because they had a fat suit prepared for him that he had to wear up until season 4 - when he'd naturally put on enough weight himself!

A real strip club was used for the Bada-Bing Club

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A lot of The Sopranos was filmed on sound stages and on location in the big cities, but for the Bada-Bing strip club used in the show, it was actually filmed at a genuine club. The club, Satin Dolls, was found on State Route 17 in New Jersey, and the club scenes were filmed in here.

A private residence was used for the exterior shots of Tony's home

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Tony's impressive home in the show might be a fictional address - 633 Stag Trail Road - but the house itself was very much real. The house used for exterior shots was a private residence based in the same spot, North Caldwell, New Jersey - and it listed for millions!

James Gandolfini shared his own money after a pay dispute

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The show was hit with a pay dispute with the network HBO when production began on the fifth season, and it ended up being delayed because of it. To get things moving and to keep people happy, James Gandolfini gave $33,333 of his own pay bonus to the other cast members.

Ray Liotta was considered for a role

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Ray Liotta is of course known for Goodfellas and one of those actors you'd expected to see in every mobster movie, and he was offered a part in The Sopranos. He never revealed which part it would have been, and just said he turned it down to focus on his film career instead.

There were a few different versions of certain scenes shot so actors wouldn't know the real one

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Sometimes, even the actors themselves don't know what's really going to happen to their characters! To try and keep the big cliffhangers a secret, certain scenes would be shot with a few variations so that the actors wouldn't know which one was the real one. This included Adriana's fate.

The Twin Towers were removed from the opening credits

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The first three seasons of the show reveal the Twin Towers in New York during the opening credits, spotted in Tony's rearview mirror. Originally, the towers were added in digitally because you wouldn't actually be able to see them from the Lincoln Tunnel. After the tragedy in 2001, the towers were completely removed from the shot.

Its Emmy win made it the first cable TV show to bag this award

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The Sopranos took the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2004, and it was the very first cable television show to do so! It had been nominated five times for this award before its big win, and continued to be nominated for it every year after as the show progressed.

The iconic theme song was almost something different

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If you're a fan of The Sopranos, then undoubtedly you've been playing that opening theme song on repeat: Woke Up This Morning by Alabama 3. But originally, the creator wanted a different song to play during the opening for each episode, until he was convinced by the other producers just to use this one! Phew.

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