Sopranos fans react to heartwarming James Gandolfini story revealed by co-star

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Sopranos fans react to heartwarming James Gandolfini story revealed by co-star
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Fans of The Sopranos are reacting to a heartwarming James Gandolfini story.

On Saturday (18 June), Twitter user @FBorrull asked actor and musician Steven van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante on the HBO series, a question about his co-star, who played the show’s lead, Tony Soprano.

“Hey @StevieVanZandt ! Is it true James Gandolfini gave each actor at The Sopranos $33,333 of his own money to settle a salary dispute the cast had with @HBO ? Thank you brother!” the tweet read.

Van Zandt responded: “It wasn’t to settle a salary dispute. He had gotten a big raise and just divided it amongst the cast. He was one of a kind.”

This detail about Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack aged 51 in 2013, is detailed in two books: James Andrew Miller’s book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers and The Curious Viewer by Jennifer M Wood

In the books, it says that Gandolfini was originally paid $5m (£3.7m) per season under a six-year contract. This amount was doubled to $10m (£7.4m) after season three in 2001.

The books then claims that Gandolfini asked for $20m (£15m), citing actors from other hit 2000s shows including Kelsey Grammar from Frasier, who was paid more than $35m (£26m).

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in ‘The Sopranos’ (HBO)
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in ‘The Sopranos’ (HBO)

He was eventually paid $1m (£742,165) per episode by HBO, which translated to $13m (£9.6m) per season, with the book saying that Gandolfini agreed to the number so that production on the series could get underway.

The actor’s gift of $33,333 to 16 of his co-stars meant that he shared a total of more than $500,000 (£371,000) of his $13m (£9.5m) contract with his cast mates.

Steven Van Zandt clarified a heartwarming James Gandolfini story on Twitter (Twitter)
Steven Van Zandt clarified a heartwarming James Gandolfini story on Twitter (Twitter)

“Wow! Did not know of this story. James was a good dude,” one fan replied, with another adding: “That’s so cool. What a man.”

“That’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing,” one fan stated.

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