James Gandolfini was 'hungover' during 'Sopranos' fight scene, says co-star Robert Patrick

James Gandolfini was 'hungover' during 'Sopranos' fight scene, says co-star Robert Patrick

08/18/2021

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James Gandolfini is best known for playing the iconic Tony Soprano in the award-winning HBO series, “The Sopranos.”

The show ran from 1999 to 2007 and Gandolfini earned three Emmy Awards for playing the tough-as-nails crime boss. 

In a recent interview on the “Talking Sopranos” podcast, Gandolfini’s co-star Robert Patrick, who played Davey Scatino on the drama, described working with the late actor. 

Patrick said the two had never met before filming a fight scene together. 

“I’m out front on a bench smoking a cigarette with Jimmy after we’d just done this read-through. And I think we’re trying to get to know each other a little bit because, you know, we’re supposed to be high school buddies,” Patrick recalled. “And if I remember it correctly, the conversation was kind of winding up. I said something to him like, ‘Hey listen. You know, when we do the scene where you come for the money, you better bring your f—— A-game.'”

“He gave me a look and he had a cigarette and he went, ‘Oh, I’ll bring my f—— A-game,'” Patrick said. 

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in the HBO series. 
(HBO)

When it came time to shot the scene, Patrick described how Gandolfini really went there. 

“He said, ‘How’s your balls?’ … I looked at him and I said, ‘They’re good.’ And he said, ‘I’m hungover, let’s do this f—— scene,'” Patrick said. “And man, it was one take. We kind of went through what he was going to do [beforehand]. He was going to grab me and he was going to throw me around, and I’m going to start crying like a little girl. And I got to tell you, he scared the living s— out of me man. I mean, I was so intimidated.”

“I think ‘The Sopranos’ is definitely one of the highlights of my career,” Patrick gushed.

Gandolfini died in 2013 at age 51 from a heart attack while on vacation in Rome, Italy. 

Later this year, his son, Michael Gandolfini, will be playing a young Tony Soprano in a “Sopranos” prequel film, titled “The Many Saints of Newark,” out in October. 

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