New Book Reveals Sopranos Star Struggled With Many Demons

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Actor James Gandolfini may be better known as Tony Soprano, the character he played on the popular HBO drama series “The Sopranos.” Now, a crew member on the show is sharing inside details about what really went on behind the scenes including details about Gandolfini’s addiction issues.

In his new book, “On Locations: Lessons Learned from My Life On Set with ‘The Sopranos’ and in the Film Industry,” Mark Kamine, who worked as a locations manager on “The Sopranos,” shares that in the show’s final two seasons, Gandolfini was out of control.

Mens Journal reports that Karmine claims that starting in season 5, Gandolfini seemed to have a “discomfort with fame” that fueled his addiction issues and vice versa. Karmine described the actor as “increasingly unreliable.”

Karmine called out an episode called “Pie-O-My” which was filmed at a real horse racing track. He explained that after filming one day, “the crew member closest to Jim asks if I want to go down to Atlantic City with Jim and a few others. It’s over an hour away. I decline.” Then, the next day Gandolfini showed up for work four hours late “cursing his way through his half-learned lines, doing take after take, drinking coffees and bottles of water.” 

According to Karmine, Gandolfini’s behavior was the most frustrating for Edie Falco, who played his wife, Carmine. He wrote that Falco was “fully prepared, always amazingly and instantly in character. She [was] nothing but an admirable on-set presence throughout the entire run of the show.” He explained that her perfect behavior was annoying to Gandolfini.

In contract to Falco, Gandolfini “often gets to set not quite in character, cursing himself mid-scene, calling on the script supervisor to feed him lines.” Karmine admitted that everyone tolerated Gandolfini’s behavior because there wouldn’t have been a show without him. 

This isn’t the first time that Gandolfini has been accused of unprofessional behavior on set. In 2021, James Andrew Miller wrote in his book “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers” that Gandolfini often made “disruptive disappearances that resulted in halted production, costing HBO several million dollars.”