How the ‘Sopranos’ Costume Designer Helped James Gandolfini Prep for Angry Scenes

by Jeremy Spirogis
Steve Van Zandt and James Gandolfini speak in a basement

While starring as Tony Soprano for the 86 episodes of The Sopranos (1999-2007), James Gandolfini had varied issues he’d do to get into the correct mind-frame for a scene. On some events, he’d smoke an unfiltered Lucky Strike as a result of it might assist him conjure up figures from his previous.

In different circumstances, he’d attempt to make himself bodily uncomfortable earlier than a scene. Steve Schirripa, who performed Bobby Baccala on the basic mob collection, recalled Gandolfini placing rocks inside his sneakers when he wished to play a scene agitated.

But Gandolfini may also use the garments on his again for a scene. Juliet Polcsa, the Emmy-nominated Sopranos costume designer, spoke of how she’d maintain that in thoughts when she was choosing Gandolfini’s wardrobe for a scene he wanted to play indignant.

The ‘Sopranos’ costume designer knew what garments James Gandolfini hated

Steve Van Zandt and James Gandolfini speak in a basement
Steve Van Zandt and James Gandolfini carry out in scene from HBO TV dramatic collection ‘The Sopranos.’ | Anthony Neste/The LIFE Images Collection by way of Getty Images

RELATED: Why Lorraine Bracco’s Dr. Melfi Became a Problem for the ‘Sopranos’ Costume Designer

During the July 6 version of Talking Sopranos, Polcsa caught up with Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) and Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccala), who co-host the weekly podcast. And she mirrored on her time on the present, for which she acquired 4 Emmy nods in complete.

After operating by means of some eventful instances on set, she targeted her consideration on the star of the present. Polcsa recalled Gandolfini as not a giant fan of the fittings. And she famous how he’d typically ship his physique double to do wardrobe fittings as a result of their sizes have been so shut.

Of course, Gandolfini featured in a lot of the present he didn’t have a lot of time to spend in wardrobe. On one event, Polcsa stated she found out a manner to assist Gandolfini play a scene during which he threatened Gloria Trillo (Annabella Sciorra).

Since Gandolfini couldn’t go a becoming, she tried one thing on her personal. “I knew all the things that Jim hated — clothes that made him feel uncomfortable,” Polcsa stated on Talking Sopranos. “So I made that costume all the things Jim didn’t like because I figured it would make him mad.”

Gandolfini enormously appreciated the increase from wardrobe

James Gandolfini stands by a pool.James Gandolfini stands by a pool.
Actor James Gandolfini in scene from HBO collection ‘The Sopranos’ | Anthony Neste/The LIFE Images Collection by way of Getty Images

While we don’t know if Gandolfini put rocks in his sneakers for this explicit scene, Polcsa might assure the Sopranos star was sporting garments he hated. Schirripa liked the gesture. “You were helping his performance,” he informed the costume designer. “Wonderful.”

For Polcsa, that was the job — getting characters to really feel just like the individual they’re enjoying. And like a very good costume designer she checked again with Gandolfini to see the way it labored. “When I explained to [Gandolfini] what I’d done, he was just so appreciative,” Polcsa recalled.

It actually took a village to get The Sopranos on movie. And 20 years later you continue to see it within the particulars — all the things from wardrobe to make-up to hair styling. Polcsa’s go-to goomba clothiers could not longer function in Bensonhurst, however their fashions dwell on in Sopranos re-watches.

RELATED: Michael Imperioli Recalled 1 of the Few Times He Ever Asked for a ‘Sopranos’ Line to Be Changed

Leave a Comment