Michael Gandolfini opens up about the difficult decision to portray Tony Soprano


You walk into the restaurant, scan the room, and there he is, hunched over a table tucked close to the wall, catching your eyes with his. Eyes exactly like his father’s.

He pops up from his seat, extends his hand, and gives a big smile—the same smile his father had but rarely flashed. “Hi, I’m Michael Gandolfini,” he says. He’s thinner than his father was, and full of boyish energy. But you notice other mannerisms—the way he runs his fingers through his hair, how he rubs his nose with the back of his hand. And all at once you realize why it was inevitable that David Chase would cast him, the twenty-year-old son of the man who played the adult Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini, as the teenage Tony in the feature-length Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark (2020).

Following in your father’s footsteps is never easy. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it is for this young man.