‘The Sopranos’: Why David Proval Didn’t Like Watching the Show Before He Played Richie Aprile

by Jeremy Spirogis
David Proval with

When producers of The Sopranos went to forged the a part of Richie Aprile, that they had a tough time discovering their man. In season 2, Richie arrives again from jail decided to take again what’s his. And he’ll knock round anybody in his method — Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) included — to get it.

Needless to say, whoever performed Richie wanted to be menacing, and producers pictured a tall man within the function at first. Hence Modern Family star Ed O’Neill studying for the Richie half in 1999. But neither O’Neill nor Ed Marinaro (one other tall man who learn) match the invoice.

Enter David Proval, the actor who stands at about 5’7″. Proval, who starred alongside Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in Mean Streets (1973), introduced the requisite menace to the function. It didn’t come simple, nonetheless. Though he’d learn for the present in season 1, he didn’t get an element. And he didn’t like watching the present after that.

David Proval tried to keep away from watching ‘The Sopranos’ as a result of it made him ‘green with envy’

David Proval with 'Sopranos' co-stars and Peter Boyle
Steve Van Zandt, David Proval, Peter Boyle, & Aida Turturro | SGranitz/WireImage

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On the Talking Sopranos podcast, Proval recalled going to learn for the Richie half. It began with Proval discovering James Russo and Robert Pastorelli, two actors he really revered, within the room. Proval thought each can be nice for the half. That put him on edge, to place it mildly.

“What the f*ck am I doing?” he recalled pondering. “What are they doing? I’m just burning. I go in, and I’m just nuts.” Producers clearly appreciated what Proval did on the studying. Afterward, they requested him to attend so they may herald Gandolfini to learn with him.

Proval recalled Gandolfini main the 2 of them by an improvisation, which went effectively. The solely drawback was Gandolfini saved standing up. When they stopped doing the scene, Proval turned to everybody watching and quipped, “You know, I play 6’4″.”

Not lengthy after, producers known as to say he acquired the half. That calmed him down a bit. To that time, he recalled been feeling “rage” on a number of counts. “The first season, I stayed away from that show as much as I could,” Proval mentioned. “Because my skin was turning green with envy. I had to stay away from watching that show. I loved it so much.”

Proval felt ‘entitled’ to play a job on ‘The Sopranos’ after so a few years within the business

David Proval as Richie AprileDavid Proval as Richie Aprile
‘The Sopranos’ collection common David Proval | Getty Images

It’s uncommon to go actors converse so frankly about their work, and Proval didn’t cease there. When Talking Sopranos co-host Michael Imperioli requested him how he approached the Richie Aprile character, Proval revealed his thought course of.

“I’d been a journeyman actor to that point from 1973-99,” he started. “There was something within me that felt 100% entitled to be on this show. It’s hard to verbalize: entitlement, rage, and anger.” Proval related that to one in all Richie’s most well-known strains on The Sopranos.

“There’s a line they wrote: ‘You can’t give me what’s already mine,’” Proval mentioned. “Richie understood that completely. And so did I. We gave our life to this. We gave our blood to this. And there’s a point in life when we say, ‘I’m entitled to this work.’”

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