The Sopranos was a show that changed the world of television. At the heart of that show was the transformation of Tony Soprano. James Gandolfini, by all accounts, was the anti-Tony in real life. But that isn’t what he’ll be remembered for in the public eye. He’ll always be Tony. The character that changed TV forever.
See, HBO was doing a number of things really well really early. They were creating amazing episodic drama long before it was the norm. Shows like Oz, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under helped to create the landscape of which today’s television style has been based. When these shows were developed, film was where you wanted to be. The biggest actors, the biggest money, and the biggest stories were on the biggest screen. HBO started the trend towards making television the hottest shit on the planet. The Sopranos set the precedent for what we have today.
James Gandolfini was the heart and soul of that show, and his career blossomed and flourished because of it. He was an amazing stage actor before and after The Sopranos. Take a look at this amazing article about a young Gandolfini from the 1988 New York Times.
It is clear that he was a loved actor. Sales of The Sopranos DVDs, Zero Dark Thirty (he was amazing in the flick), and a number of his other works have increased on Amazon after his death. While that is fairly normal for a death like this, it is extremely impressive.
We here at Follow Networks are big fans of a number of his works, and we recorded a special iFILMr in his honor.
Thanks for great acting, the fun shows, the breathtaking violence, and all the memories James.