James Gandolfini is known for his role as the tremendously charming yet psychopathic mob-boss Tony Sopranos. The late-actor is immortalized by his depiction of the character. While he was known to be one of the nicest actors on The Sopranos, that didn’t just extend to his behavior.
James Andrew Miller, who recently published his book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, claims that Gandolfini once paid $33,000 to each one of his co-stars in order to keep the show running.
Gandolfini used to get $5 million per season for the show until season 3. That’s when the star started getting $10 million per season. He tried to get another raise for the amount of $13 million. However, that led to a battle between Gandolfini and the company.
Steve Schirripa said in a New York Times radio show back in 2018 that the actor did it out of his own pocket. He also said that he was a good actor, but a better person altogether.
As good of an actor as he was, he was a better guy. A generous guy. The guy gave us $33,000 each—16 people. In Season 4 he called every one of the regular cast members and gave us a check. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.’ It’s like buying 16 people a car.
The Sopranos star resolved the anxieties of his c0-stars by paying them out of his own pocket. In order to make sure that the show’s production remains smooth, the star gave $33,000 to his co-stars. $5 might seem like a lot of money to give up, but it was enough to keep the show going.
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