The Day James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini Gave Out Big Bucks to the Cast’s Actors
As someone who worked in the news media fulltime, I can usually tell when celebrities are liked and disliked by those who cover them. Actors and comedians may not be who you see on the screen. And sometimes they are, or better. Years ago, when the Three Stooges got a star on Hollywood Boulevard and I did a story for my then-employer the San Diego Union, Milton Berle was extremely nice and gave me the story’s best quote.
It has been clear over the years that reporters really like James Gandolfini. And most of the anecdotes about Gandolfini that surfaced over the years were positive — showing a nice guy who on The Sopranos didn’t want the press to forget about how good the rest of the staff was.
The New York Post has an article about a soon to be on newstands edition of Vanity Fair, which will include an extensive oral history of The Sopranos. And the Post’s report contains this tidbit from the article which confirms what kind of person Gandofini is.
A happier day on the set was when — after winning a big payday in contract negotiations — Gandolfini handed out gifts of cash to the other regular actors.
“After Season 4, Jim called all the regulars into his trailer and gave us $33,333 each, every single one of us,” Schirripa said. “ Now, there were a lot of big actors—Kelsey Grammer, Ray Romano—and they’re all nice guys, I’m sure, but nobody gave their cast members that kind of money. That’s like buying everybody an SUV. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.’ ”
Do you see many high paid actors doing that with their supporting players? Fuggeddaboudit.