When “The Sopranos” ended is six-season run with that still-controversial finale as one of television’s most acclaimed series, who would have predicted that nearly 15 years later the show would find a new generation of viewers?
Yet that’s precisely what’s been taking place, with conflicted New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandoldini) resonating with a new batch of fans who are rediscovering a show that premiered when some of them were still in diapers.
Edie Falco, who played Tony’s wife Carmela, discussed the recent resurgence of “The Sopranos” in a new interview with The New Yorker.
During the interview, Falco was asked about a recent think piece suggesting the new interest in the show was due to its realistic depiction of America in decline.
“I can only speak from Carmela’s point of view, because I wasn’t always great at having a take on the larger themes of the show. I was often told about them by, you know, academics,” Falco explained.
“I think Carmela was very much firmly planted in the idea of ritual and tradition,” she added. “I sort of felt that she thought things would be as they had always been. From my vantage point, the show was a story of an Italian-American family who had a rather unique way of making money. For some people, it was a straight-up mob show. Maybe that’s one of the reasons it was successful, is that it appealed to lots of different people for lots of different reasons.”
She also discussed what it was like working with Gandolfini, who died in 2013 at age 51.
“We had such a strangely specific, similar way that we work, and a similar background,” Falco revealed. “I don’t know how to explain this. We were just really regular middle-class, suburban kids that were never supposed to become famous actors. My interpretation is that the whole time, he was, like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ I remember, when we got picked up for the second season, he said to me, ‘Yeah, well, I just have no idea what the hell we did, but we’ve got to try to do it again.’ And I said, ‘I hear you. I don’t know. We’ll figure something out.'”
Gandolfini, she added, “was totally un-actor-y, and was incredibly self-deprecating, and he was a real soul mate in that regard. We did not spend a lot of time talking about the scripts. It was like when you see two kids playing in the sandbox, completely immersed in their imaginary world. That’s what it felt like acting opposite Jim.”