Fans of “The Sopranos” have the opportunity to reenter the series’ universe with the new film “The Many Saints of Newark” – but with a few major differences.
The film is a prequel to the popular HBO mafia drama, featuring many of the same characters played by new, younger actors.
Among them is Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, who played the iconic Tony Soprano. Michael, 22, plays his father’s character in the prequel, which takes place decades before the show’s 1999-2007 revival, meaning there are some things about Soprano viewers might not to recognize.
In a conversation with Fox News, Gandolfini discussed playing the role once inhabited by his father and the differences between their versions of the character.
MICHAEL GANDOLFINI SAYS PLAYING THE CHARACTER OF THE FATHER’S END OF THE FATHER, TONY SOPRANO WAS “THE TOUGHEST DECISION EVER”
The young star noted that he had tried to portray the same “physique” as his father, for example by holding his shoulders in a manner similar to that of the late actor.
“I really learned to use my eyes so that he bowed his head,” he explained.
However, there were also key differences between their representations.
MICHAEL GANDOLFINI PREPARES FOR HIS ROLE OF TONY SOPRANO BY STUDYING HIS FATHER
“I knew if I kissed his physique, the audience would really see a lot of Tony,” Gandolfini said. “Then I would have a lot more room emotionally to be completely different from him. “
Fans also get a glimpse of Dickie Moltisanti by Alessandro Nivola, father of famous ‘Sopranos’ character Christopher Moltisanti. Fans of the series know that Christopher’s father passed away before the series began.
“He’s kind of trying to redefine himself in a new way, but he’s not really sophisticated enough to know what it is,” Nivola explained. “On the other hand, he’s totally a part of this cycle of violence that he can’t really escape. “
MICHAEL GANDOLFINI CHANNELS THE CHARACTER OF HIS DEATH FATHER DURING THE FILMING OF THE PREQUEL ‘SOPRANOS’
For those who avoid the movie because they haven’t watched “The Sopranos,” the cast say it can be enjoyed on its own.
“You don’t have to be a fan or even know the show to enjoy the movie,” said Ray Liotta.
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Addition of Leslie Odom Jr .: When [writer] The name of David Chase is attached, you are in the hands of a true author, a true visionary. So it’s exciting that we have more possibilities now with this film. “
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Chase, who created “The Sopranos,” also confirmed that there “may be” future chapters in the story.
“The Many Saints of Newark” is now hitting theaters and airing on HBO Max.