James Gandolfini apparently once threatened to “beat the f*ck” out of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. While The Sopranos actor was often described as being peaceful and compassionate in his personal life — a stark contrast to the ruthless mobster he played on television — at least one incident involving Weinstein made him angry enough to threaten violence.
According to an article from Page Six, co-star Steve Schirripa, who played Bobby Baccalieri on the show, revealed that Gandolfini got so riled up after Weinstein kept pressuring him to appear on late-night talk shows to discuss a new film that he was ready to beat the producer up.
“He said, ‘Harvey Weinstein keeps calling, he wants me to do Letterman and I said no.’ And he got f*cking nasty with Jim. And Jim said, ‘I will beat the f*ck out of Harvey Weinstein! He f*cking calls me again, I will beat the f*ck out of him! For the money he paid me, I’m not f*cking doing it!’ Swear to God. And this is before all the Harvey Weinstein sh*t when he was still king sh*t.”
Former The Sopranos co-star Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, weighed in on the incident, saying that Gandolfini was incredibly laid back and wasn’t excited about doing talk shows in general. Imperioli said that he encouraged his co-star to pick a talk show so that he could show the world what the real Gandolfini was like, but star chose not to.
“He never did a talk show. He did 60 Minutes. But he wouldn’t do any of the talk shows; he said I’m not interesting,” Imperioli continued.
This reluctance reportedly played a role in the relationship between Weinstein and Gandolfini, who died in 2013. Weinstein wanted the actor to promote the 2012 movie Killing Them Softly, a show that also starred Brad Pitt, but the New Jersey native refused.
In 2012, the Tony Soprano actor said he had turned down the role of Mickey repeatedly before ultimately deciding to take it on. The film was distributed by The Weinstein Company, which was founded and led by Weinstein and his brother Bob.
Schirripa and Imperioli host a podcast called Talking Sopranos, where the share previously unreleased details about the show and discuss the episodes.
The famous HBO series has been in the news again recently after its creator, David Chase, seemed to let it slip that the show’s final episode portrayed Soprano’s death. Until now, many fans of the show had wondered if the mobster survived the coming attack or if he was killed.