Home Uncategorized David Chase, Steve van Zandt on James Gandolfini: “Genius,” “Brother”

“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.”

van Zandt:

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

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
2 replies to this post
  1. I am saddened by the passing of James, he was such a talented actor. my prayers go out to your family and your friends all around the world. SA

  2. Stevie posted his statement first on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He’s not just starting a tour, he’s been with Bruce on tour for weeks.

    And the death did not take place in a restaurant.

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