The Sopranos may have aired its final episode in 2007, but the legacy of the HBO crime drama, which is still widely regarded as one of the greatest tv shows of all time, still lives on. In only a couple of months, the Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark is set to finally hit theatres and HBO Max, and as the release date approaches, The Sopranos nostalgia increases.
In a new episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, actor Robert Patrick chopped it up with podcasts hosts and fellow Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, and at one point, he vividly remembers his iconic fight scene with James Gandolfini in season 2 episode 6, “The Happy Wanderer.”
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That episode marked the first appearance of Robert Patrick’s character David Scatino, Tony Soprano’s high school friend and compulsive gambler. “The Happy Wanderer” also featured a tense fight scene between Tony and David, in which Tony brutally intimidates David at his place of work. According to Robert Patrick, Gandolfini was “hungover” on the day that they filmed that scene.
Patrick reveals that he was told by acting coaches to provoke Gandolfini in real-life in order to inspire an authentic performance, so on the same day that they met each other and after doing the read-through on set, Patrick told Gandolfini, “You know the scene where you come to get your money, you better bring your fucking A-game.”
Gandolfini reportedly replied, “Oh, I’ll bring my fucking A-game,” and the two didn’t see each other or speak until it was time to film the scene.
“[Gandolfini] came in and said, ‘How’s your balls?’ I said, ‘They’re fine.’ And he said, ‘I’m hungover, let’s do this fucking scene,” Patrick says, remembering their encounter before their scene. Apparently, his attempts to rile Gandolfini up were successful, because the scene was so intense and believable that it only took a short amount of time to film it.
“And man, it was one take,” Patrick reveals. “We kind of went through what he was going to do. He was going to grab me and he was going to throw me around, and I’m going to start crying like a little girl. And I got to tell you, he scared the living shit out of me, man. I mean, I was so intimidated.”
For more The Sopranos content, check out the full episode of Talking Sopranos featuring Robert Patrick below, and be on the lookout for more The Many Saints of Newark when it arrives in theatres and on HBO Max on October 1.[via]