Michael Gandolfini Opens Up About Playing His Late Father’s Iconic Character

Michael Gandolfini is following in his late father’s footsteps. He is set to play Tony Soprano in the new prequel film. His father, James Gandolfini, played the role so well. Naturally, Michael said it was a tough choice to ultimately be cast in the role.

The 22-year-old shared, “I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to walk out of this feeling like I’d grown in terms of my feelings toward my dad. I just wanted to be the best actor I could be, portraying Tony in the way David [Chase] wanted, scene by scene.”

Michael Gandolfini talks about playing Tony Soprano

James Gandolfini at arrivals for 14TH ANNUAL ARTISTS FOR THE AFRICAN RAINFOREST, Manhattan Penthouse, New York, NY, May 16, 2005. Photo by: Fernando Leon/Everett Collection

The prequel is called The Many Saints of Newark and will be released on Oct. 1st. It will also be available for streaming on HBO Max in October. In the film, Michael looks just like his father but he is putting a bit of a different spin on the character.

RELATED: Meet Michael Gandolfini, Son Of The Boss Himself Tony Soprano, Following In His Father’s Footsteps

THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, US poster, from left: Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, 2021. © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

He said, “My dad’s character had all this beautiful sensitivity underneath this aggression. This version of him is the reverse. His curiosity and sensitivity comes first. He’s not a gun-wielding gangster. He’s a kid who gets whittled down and pulled in.”

THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK, Corey Stoll (left), Vera Farmiga (blue shirt), Jon Bernthal (center of frame), Michael Gandolfini (necktie), Gabriella Piazza (back, standing), Alessandro Nivola (right), 2021. ph: Barry Wetcher /© Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

The film also stars Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Billy Magnussen, Michela De Rossi, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga. Are you excited for the new prequel film? Watch the trailer below:

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