“Sopranos” creator David Chase and co-star Steve van Zandt have each released statements on the passing of their friend, James Gandolfini. Even though you can read them other places, I’m reprinting them here. (Naturally, THR makes it seem like they’re exclusive to them.) Anyway. I think most of “The Sopranos” extended family is in shock. And van Zandt is just starting a tour from Scotland with Bruce Springsteen. His email came from there. So that’s not easy. More to come. And there are plenty of reactions on Twitter from all kinds of people. I just ran into Alec Baldwin on my walk home and he was beside himself. I keep thinking of Gandolfini’s constant ups and downs with weight, and joking about it. And now it seems he died in a restaurant in Sicily. From heaven to heaven.
“He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, ‘You don’t get it. You’re like Mozart.’ There would be silence at the other end of the phone. For Deborah and Michael and Lilliana, this is crushing. And it’s bad for the rest of the world. He wasn’t easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can’t explain and never will be able to explain.”
I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time. Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Deborah, Michael, Lily, and all of Jimmy’s family.
Stevie Van Zandt
Loch Lomond, Scotland