‘The Sopranos’: Why Lorraine Bracco Thought Dr. Melfi Was ‘the Weak Link’ within the Beginning

by Jeremy Spirogis
James Gandolfini hugs Lorraine Bracco.

What made The Sopranos completely different from different mob tales? Several solutions qualify, however you can begin proper in the beginning. In the pilot’s opening scene, viewers see mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) head into the workplace of Dr. Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco), a psychiatrist.

At that time, Analyze This (1999) hadn’t hit theaters. And even when it had, that comedic tackle the mafioso-goes-to-psychotherapy idea wouldn’t have made The Sopranos any much less progressive. Meanwhile, the suburban lifetime of Tony Soprano additionally seemed completely different than the view from Goodfellas (1990).

In that movie (and most mob tales), it could have been unthinkable for the gangsters to get bossed round at dwelling by their wives whereas their disobedient children gave them recurring complications. But The Sopranos was a couple of dysfunctional household as a lot because it was concerning the mafia.

Going into the pilot shoot in 1997, Bracco thought there have been so many attention-grabbing scenes that her Dr. Melfi character wouldn’t shine by. In reality, she recalled contemplating Melfi “the weak link” within the opening installment of The Sopranos.

Lorraine Bracco thought her Melfi character would get misplaced within the ‘Sopranos’ pilot

James Gandolfini hugs Lorraine Bracco.
James Gandolfini embraces Lorraine Bracco at a ‘Sopranos’ season premiere in 2001. | Evan Agostini/ImageDirect

RELATED: ‘The Sopranos’: Why Lorraine Bracco Finally Agreed to Do a Mob Story After ‘Goodfellas’

On a go to to the August 2 version of the Talking Sopranos podcast, Bracco revealed to former co-stars Steve Schirripa (Bobby Baccala) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) her frame of mind previous to the pilot shoot. In transient, she noticed fascinating scenes all over the place however inside Melfi’s workplace.

“I always felt I was the weak link,” Bracco stated. “I felt, ‘Who’s going to be interested in listening to two people sitting in a chair, blah-blah-blah?’” Imperioli and Schirripa each disagreed strongly. “Who’s gonna be interested? Everybody,” Imperioli replied as Bracco laughed.

“That’s was made the show different,” Schirripa stated. “That was the whole thing.” While Bracco agreed, she tried to elucidate her perspective previous to filming. “You understand, when you have you [Imperioli’s Christopher] and Edie [Falco, who played Carmela] and the kids … there were great scenes in the pilot.”

David Chase took an uncommon strategy to the Melfi scenes within the pilot

Lorraine Bracco as Dr. MelfiLorraine Bracco as Dr. Melfi
‘The Sopranos’ sequence common Lorraine Bracco | Getty Images

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While prolonged periods in Dr. Melfi’s workplace turned regular afterward in The Sopranos, creator David Chase didn’t deal with it that means within the pilot (which Chase additionally directed). For the opening Sopranos episode, Chase reduce backwards and forwards between scenes from Tony’s life and his tackle them inside Melfi’s workplace.

So Bracco needn’t have feared an excessive amount of of the “blah-blah-blah” weighing on viewers. They didn’t get an opportunity to get bored because the motion reduce to Tony operating down a man who owed him cash in his automobile and so forth. (Starting within the second episode, The Sopranos saved the conversations in Melfi’s workplace with out reducing away.)

Bracco had some extent, after all. The Sopranos pilot arrange a lot of fascinating conflicts that will get resolved later within the sequence. But between the head-butting together with his Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) and the pot-stirring of his mom Livia (Nancy Marchand), Tony positively wanted area to speak about issues. Thankfully, he had Bracco’s Melfi for that.

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