NEW YORK – The creator of The Sopranos said at James Gandolfini’s funeral that the actor brought the traits of a sad boy, amazed and confused, to the role of Tony Soprano.
You were a good boy, David Chase said Thursday at the ceremony at New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.
One of four speakers at the funeral, Chase gave his remarks in the form of a letter to Gandolfini. The actor’s widow, Deborah Lin Gandolfini, and two family friends were also speakers at the ceremony.
Chase remembered that Gandolfini once told him that you know what I want to be? A man. That’s all. I want to be a man. Chase said he marveled upon hearing that, since Gandolfini was a man so many others looked up to.
Chase added that, paradoxically, he always felt that in Gandolfini he was seeing a young boy as well as a man.
A sad boy, amazed and confused, he said. You could see it in your eyes. That’s why you were a great actor.
The 51-year-old actor best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano in the lauded HBO series died of a heart attack last week while vacationing with his son in Italy.
Celebrities and fellow actors were among the mourners, along with members of the public who wanted to salute Gandolfini’s work.