The Sopranos" ended with an abrupt blackout, don't worry: You're in good company. The show's star, James Gandolfini, now says even he was baffled by the controversial cut-to-black.
"When I first saw the ending, I was like, 'What the f---?'" the actor, who won three Emmys playing mob boss Tony Soprano, tells Vanity Fair. "I mean, after all I went through, all the death, and then it's over like that?" Uh oh… sounds like somebody made Tony angry.
But once he got a good night's sleep, Gandolfini came to appreciate the ending that still infuriates a fair number of "Sopranos" devotees. "After I had a day to sleep, I just sat there and said, 'That's perfect.'" (We've had a thousand nights to sleep on it, James, and we're still not sure about it.)
Lorraine Bracco (who co-starred as Tony's therapist, Dr. Melfi) didn't get it at first, either, admitting "I would've wanted it to end differently." But she had an epiphany about the finale when fans started approaching her on the street… to complain about it. "God knows we've talked about that ending for five years. People stop me in the street, 'Did you get the ending?' 'Did I miss something?' I thought it was very, very shrewd."
Other revelations from the Vanity Fair article, which collects dozens of interviews with the show's cast and writers:
- Of all the many whackings that took place over the series' six-season run, there's one character that creator David Chase wishes he had offed a little sooner: Tony's loose-cannon nephew, Christopher. "As a mob boss, the guy was totally unreliable!" Chase says. "Tony put up with him too long." The show's high body count had many actors looking over their shoulder. "If it's time for your character to go, it's time for your character to go," says Steve Schirippa, who played Bobby Bacala. "I mean, this wasn't 'Friends.' This was a real worry." Hey, that's not fair: Plenty of people bit the dust on "Friends." Their downstairs neighbor Mr. Heckles, for one.
- New Jersey may be all the rage these days, but Drea de Matteo (who played Christopher's girlfriend Adriana) wasn't in love with her character's thick Joisey accent: "I felt like my accent sounded really, really fake… Now when I walk down the street, people say, 'Just give me one 'Chris-ta-fuh.'" Look on the bright side: It's better than "Cabs are here," right? De Matteo remembers she nailed the part by arriving to the audition in true guidette style: "I wore my nameplate in diamonds. I teased my hair up a little bit." Aw, Snooki would be so proud.
- Playing TV spouses made Gandolfini and Edie Falco develop some very odd feelings for each other. "I'm still in love with Edie," Gandolfini admits. And Falco reveals she felt pangs of jealousy when she'd sit across from the actresses playing Tony's girlfriends at a table read -- and even when she saw Gandolfini play another woman's husband in a play years later. Wow… now that's some chemistry. You know, Edie's character on "Nurse Jackie" might be single next season. Maybe James can scrub in for a very special guest spot as Jackie's new love interest? (Showtime execs, please make this happen.)