Friday, June 21, 2013

Beyond Soprano: James Gandolfini, R.I.P.

He will forever be immortalized as Tony Soprano, one of television's most complicated and iconic characters. But James Gandolfini was more than that. He was a consummate actor's actor, a pro who started out in the theatre, cherished the ensemble and never ever expected to be a star.

His vulnerability, his kindness off the stage and screen are remembered by his colleagues. And those qualities, too, seeped into all his work, even in his portrayal of the dysfunctional mob boss.

For those of us who missed him on stage, that opportunity is sadly gone. And there are, of course, all the roles he might have played. But still, there are some fine performances--beyond Tony Soprano--to savor. He has fine supporting turns in In The Loop, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3, Zero Dark Thirty, Get Shorty and The Mexican And stands out in Cinema Verite as the the creator of Reality TV, and is magnificent as a grieving father in the moving indie, Welcome to the Rileys. Do yourself a favor: take the time to watch this gem on DVD.

And embrace your your life and nurture your talents while you can.

Drive safe. Play nice. Dream big.

Stay tuned @abwrites


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