Hello everyone, we have another exciting video for you today. We are bringing you 25 shocking facts about the Emmy-award-winning series, The Sopranos. With 25 behind-the-scenes unknown facts and drama, we bring you everything you’ve never known about this show. This is Facts Verse Presents: The Sopranos: 25 Shocking Facts. Don’t forget to like this video and subscribe to our channel for more. Click that little notification bell icon to make sure you never miss it when we upload a new video.
The Sopranos is a highly-acclaimed, TV series drama. The show revolves around the Italian-American crime family, with Tony Soprano as the head. The show follows his life as he balances the crime family with his home life. Fans of the show are die-hard, they love the storyline and impeccable acting from cast members. Here are the 25 most shocking facts…
NUMBER ONE: Movie Pitch
Prior to the show’s development, The Sopranos was merely a movie pitch. Initially, the story was offered as a movie. Before the creator David Chase developed the entire storyline and cast, he thought it would be a film. The movie would focus on a mobster who enters therapy to talk about the issues he has with his mother. David Chase’s manager asked him to reconsider his decision and give thought to ‘The Sopranos’ becoming a television series instead. Chase’s manager, Lloyd Braun, told him the story would be perfect for TV. After this, the decision to create a television series was finalized and The Sopranos was born.
NUMBER TWO: Still Here
Tony Soprano’s mother, Livia Soprano, was supposed to die in the first season. The central conflict for the show revolved around Tony and his mother. The tense mother-son relationship made for an entertaining storyline. The initial concept was for Tony to suffocate his mother using a pillow after she arranges to have him murdered.
In real life, the actress who played Livia Soprano, Nancy Marchand, was sick with cancer while filming. She asked Chase to keep her working through her illness. Due to this request, Tony’s mother Livia was kept on the series, a decision fans were happy about.
NUMBER THREE: Nancy’s Death
As we mentioned before, Nancy Marchand was sick with cancer while filming the series. She died prior to the end of filming. She died lung cancer and emphysema on June 18th, 2000. The final moments for her character, Livia, were compiled from old footage, special effects, and previous recordings. In fact. Livia’s head was CGI’ed on another actress’ (body double). When the episode aired, the show received backlash by critics who thought it was awkward and confusing.
NUMBER FOUR: Smart Crew
The creative team for The Sopranos boasts some of the most talented writers and producers in the industry. For example, Matthew Weiner, Terrance Winter, and Ilene Landress were behind the successful show. They went on to produce other celebrated series/films such as Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, and Girls.
NUMBER FIVE: Only Two Episodes
Creator David Chase only directed two of the series’ episodes. Chase directed the pilot and the finale. Instead, Tim Van Patten directed the majority of episodes, along with Allen Coulter and Steve Buscemi. In fact, only one episode was directed by a woman, Lorraine Senna. Patten has received directing credits on a variety of popular shows such as Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and The Wire.
NUMBER SIX: Similar Cast
The Sopranos and Goodfellas share 27 of the same cast members. According to records, 6 main cast members of The Sopranos… Lorraine Bracco, Tony Sirico, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Joseph Gannascoli, and Frank Vincent, all appeared in Goodfellas. In addition, 10 reoccurring cast members from The Sopranos made their features in the film. Furthermore, 11 guest stars made debuts in the 1990 film. The audience definitely recognized familiar faces.
NUMBER SEVEN: Ray Liotta
Ray Liotta was interviewed by the Today show in 2001, where he claims he was offered a role in the series. He said he declined the offer to focus on other films. During 2003, he called Goodfellas “the ultimate mobster movie.” He also said Goodfellas was based on/ structured around Tony Soprano. He said the series would have been difficult to do as the two productions were so similar. He feared he would not be well-received and get lost in the character. Liotta didn’t think he would shine in the role and decided James Gandolfini was a better actor for the part.
NUMBER EIGHT: The First Choice for Tony
Creator David Chase initially wanted Steve Van Zandt, a guitar player, to play Tony. Chase would listen to Bruce Springsteen albums and see Zandt’s face on the cover. Chase believed Zandt resembled Al Pacino. The producers of The Sopranos rejected this idea as they didn’t want to take a chance on Zandt, a first-time actor. Instead, Zandt appeared as Silvio Dante.
NUMBER NINE: Tony’s Role
When Chase was writing the role of Tony Soprano, he intended for the character to be softer and less aggressive. The “ruthless’ nature of Tony came from James Gandolfini, the actor who played him. Gandolfini put his own spin on the fierce mobster character.
NUMBER TEN: Carmela
Lorraine Bracco was asked to play Tony’s wife, Carmela. After considering, Bracco asked if she could play the therapist instead. Bracco said the role of “Dr. Melfi” was more difficult than she anticipated. She even received four Emmy nominations as well as three Golden Globe nominations for the role.
NUMBER ELEVEN: The Inspiration for Dr. Melfi
Dr. Melfi was actually based on David Chase’s real-life therapist, Lorraine Kaufman. The therapist in the series had a similar demeanor to Chase’s actual therapist. “Dr. Melfi” had a way of getting straight to the point and bypassing nonsense. Furthermore, when Chase asked for a breakdown of the character’s personalities, Lorraine outlined them using her expertise. After many seasons, the fictional characters acted similar to how Chase’s therapist Lorraine predicted.
NUMBER TWELVE: Tony’s Nephew
Tony’s nephew, Christopher Moltisanti was played by Michael Imperioli. Imperioli was discouraged as he thought he blew his audition. According to the actor, he was almost rejected for the role. Michael was brought in to meet with directors and David Chase had a “poker face.” He couldn’t tell whether he landed it or blew it. In fact, David kept giving him some changes to make and tips, which led Michael to believe he wouldn’t get the role… guess he was wrong!
NUMBER THIRTEEN: Drea De Matteo
The spouse of Christopher almost didn’t make the cast. Drea De Matteo read the role of Adriana La Cerva. Drea didn’t believe she was “Italian enough” for the role. During the pilot, Drea plays a hostess. Once the series was confirmed, Drea portrayed Adriana. Fans of the show were glad, as they adored her character.
NUMBER FOURTEEN: Paulie Gaultieri’s Real Life
The life of Tony Sirico was an inspiration for Paulie’s role in The Sopranos. Prior to acting, Sirico engaged in various criminal activities. He had a rap sheet longer than his acting resume. With 28 arrests, Sirico was the real-life mobster. In fact, Paulie’s “neat freak” characteristic was based on Tony’s obsession with tidiness.
NUMBER FIFTEEN: Tony Soprano’s Net Worth
The fictional character of Tony Soprano had a net worth of $5-6 million. When David Chase sat down with a technical consultant and NY assistant district attorney, they discovered just how much the fictional character would be worth. However, due to Tony’s hasty gambling, this number often fluctuated.
NUMBER SIXTEEN: Steve Schirripa’s Costume
Steve Schirripa was cast as Bobby, a big character. At the time, Schirripa was not hefty enough and had to wear a fat suit for his role. He wore the suit for a couple of seasons and then gained weight. By that time, he was big enough to play the role.
NUMBER SEVENTEEN: Bada-Bing
The scenes for bada-bing were filmed on location in New Jersey. They were shot at real-life gentleman’s club in Lodi, New Jersey.
NUMBER EIGHTEEN: Real Life Home
The exterior home of The Sopranos was a real-life house in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Production used a real, private home as the exterior model for The Sopranos’ home. According to the show, the family lived at 633 Stag Trail Road, North Caldwell, New Jersey.
NUMBER NINETEEN: The Mob’s Ties
The Sopranos did an amazing job at creating a realistic storyline… so much so, the actual mob thought production had an inside guy. According to the FBI, agents told the creative team real-life mobsters would talk about the show. Based on the wire tapes from the wiseguys, they believed The Sopranos had someone on the inside feeding information to make the show as realistic as it was.
NUMBER TWENTY: Salary Arguments
After the 4th season of the show, The Sopranos was at a standstill with HBO. In order to ease tension, James Gandolfini gave each cast member $33,000 of his own earnings.
NUMBER TWENTY-ONE: Surprising Scenes
Creator David Chase filmed multiple scenes for each episode. The cast didn’t know how the scene would turn out either. Multiple takes would be filmed, each with different endings. This habit kept the cast and crew on their toes, never knowing which direction the story was going.
NUMBER TWENTY-TWO: Woke Up This Morning
The Sopranos theme song is “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3. However, Chase initially selected a different song for the opening. However, producers convinced Chase to use the song. Alabama 3 wrote the song after hearing of a violent murder trial involving a husband and wife.
NUMBER TWENTY-THREE: World Trade Center
For the first three seasons of The Sopranos, The World Trade Center can be seen during Tony’s drive from New York to New Jersey. During his drive, viewers can catch a glimpse of the towers in his rearview mirror. However, this was a visual effect as the towers were not visible from the Lincoln Tunnel. Following the attacks of 9/11, the visual was removed from the opening credits.
NUMBER TWENTY-FOUR: Emmys
The Sopranos became the first cable TV show to win “Outstanding Drama Series.” The show had been nominated 4 times before it won in 2004. In fact, the series was nominated every year since that and won again in 2007 for its finale.
NUMBER TWENTY-FIVE: Tony Soprano Dies
The finale of The Sopranos left viewers with the biggest cliffhanger of all time. No one knows if Tony Soprano died, was arrested, or returns back to a normal life. As a result of this suspense, cast members have come up with their own conclusions. For example, Michael Imperioli (Christopher), believes Tony died. During a Vanity Fair interview in 2012, Imperioli says director David Chase tried to get the actors in character for Tony’s death, leading them to believe the script was written for his demise.
Thank you guys for tuning into another exciting video. We hope you loved these 25 amazing ‘Soprano’ facts. The show was a quintessential mobster drama, featuring real-life references… sometimes too real! Give this video a ‘thumbs up’ if you enjoyed and subscribe to our channel for more. Let us know down in the comment box below which ‘Soprano’ character is your favorite and which fact shocked you most. Thanks again and we’ll see you in the next one.