‘The Sopranos’: Louis Lombardi Recalled How He and Vincent Pastore Nailed Their Scenes in 1-2 Takes

by Jeremy Spirogis
Vinny Pastore

Depending on the episode of The Sopranos, a director may want one take after one other to get a shot proper. And within the days when HBO exhibits went on precise movie, that would run up manufacturing prices. John Ventimiglia recalled one such scene by which his Artie Bucco character received slapped by Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini).

After shelling out with the providers of a stuntman, Ventimiglia endured about 14 disagreeable takes of Gandolfini slapping him round earlier than they received it proper. In one other episode, an advanced Steadicam shot led to Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano) needing to interrupt down in tears for seven consecutive takes.

But administrators didn’t have to fret about that in scenes that includes Sal “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore) and FBI agent Skip Lipari (Louis Lombardi). According to Lombardi, the system he and his previous friend Pastore had made the Skip-Big Pussy scenes a breeze to shoot.

Louis Lombardi mentioned his ‘Sopranos’ scenes with Vincent Pastore solely required 1 or 2 takes

Vinny Pastore's birthday with Louie Lombardi
Vincent Pastore and Louis Lombardi celebrates Pastore’s 60th birthday on “The Wiseguy Show” in July 2006. | Carley Margolis/FilmMagic

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Lombardi, the Bronx-born actor who’s appeared in The Usual Suspects, 24, and Natural Born Killers, reminisced about taking part in Skip Lipari on the Talking Sopranos podcast. For Lombardi, the story started when he met Pastore (Big Pussy) as a young person.

When Lombardi was rising up, Pastore (additionally from the Bronx) ran a membership he used to frequent. That anecdote jogged the reminiscence of Talking Sopranos co-host Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti). The Mount Vernon-born Imperioli additionally recalled visiting Pastore’s membership as a younger man.

So when Lombardi arrived on the Sopranos set to play scenes reverse Pastore, the 2 have been working with a decades-old relationship. However, the dynamic had modified. Instead of the older Pastore being an uncle determine, Lombardi performed the FBI agent in cost.

Regardless, Lombardi mentioned the scenes got here off like a appeal. “It was so easy,” he recalled. Though he acknowledged Pastore would often “big-time” him on the set, the 2 actors knocked out their scenes in “one or two takes.”

Pastore and Lombardi labored on ‘Sopranos’ dialogue at house and in carpools

'Sopranos' actors at Vincent Pastore birthday'Sopranos' actors at Vincent Pastore birthday
Robert Iler, Vincent Pastore, and Louis Lombardi in 2006 | Carley Margolis/FilmMagic

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How did Pastore “big-time” Lombardi on set? “He was like, ‘Do me favor. When we’re on set, don’t look at me. Get my coffee if you want more lines,’” Lombardi mentioned, laughing hysterically. But he and Pastore performed it straight when it got here to getting ready for scenes.

Their method was easy: Rehearse early and sometimes. Since Lombardi and Pastore continued residing close to each other, they’d rehearse at house collectively. “He lived in City Island, I lived right there. I would drive to his house, sit in his house all day, and run the lines,” Lombardi mentioned. “Over and over.”

Lombardi and Pastore would maintain it going after they carpooled to Sopranos shoots collectively. Considering Big Pussy and Skip all the time met in vehicles, it was good. “We would drive to the set together, run the lines in the car like [Pussy and Skip] did,” Lombardi mentioned. “We rehearsed the heck out of it. It was great.”

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