Monday, June 19, 2017

Culture: Remembering James Gandolfini

To millions of viewers, James Gandolfini - who died on this date in 2013 - was, and continues to be, Tony Soprano, the head of the crime family on groundbreaking HBO series "The Sopranos".

But of course, he was so much, both as an actor and as a person.

Many of his A-list collegaues have testified to Gandolfini's generosity, not only with money, but with his time, and especially when helping colleagues get through grief and other tough times.

As an actor, his versatility was evident, even as some of his early roles (I first saw him in Tony Scott's "True Romance" playing the heavy) sought to typecast him. As his exposure grew, so did the recognition of his abilities, and thus also did the variety of roles.

For the show, his accomplishments speak for themselves three Emmys for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series, three Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Male Actor in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series Drama — staggering by any measure.

Gandolfini’s last enduring role came in the 2013 film “Enough Said,” directed by Nicole Holofcener and co-starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Gandolfini is Albert, a divorcee who grows close to a masseuse named Eva (Louis-Dreyfus).
While the film only made $25.3 million at the box office — just after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, Gandolfini received critical acclaim for his role.
Gandolfini’s final film appearance was as Marv in Michael R. Roskam’s 2014 crime drama, “The Drop.” The film was released posthumously and featured Gandolfini as a bartender in Brooklyn — at a place that’s become “the drop” for illegal activities. It also features Tom Hardy in a leading role.
Like “Enough Said,” the film received positive reviews from critics and earned a “certified fresh” 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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