The cast of The Sopranos reunited exactly two decades after the venerated series premiere on HBO, changing television forever. It was a bittersweet reunion, however, with the unignorable absence of the show’s beloved capo, James Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack in 2013. “He’s here,” said Edie Falco as the cast joined hands at the start of the Today show interview to take a moment and remember Gandolfini.
“You do a scene with Jimmy Gandolfini and walk away a better actor.”
“There’s this invisible Jim bubble around us, and I feel like every hug is a little longer,” said Robert Iler, who portrayed A.J. Soprano, on reuniting with his cast members since the actor’s passing. “He’s very, very missed,” Iler added. “People don’t have any idea how great it was to work with James Gandolfini. He was he best,” said Vincent Pastore, who portrayed Salvatore Bonpensiero, also known as Big Pussy. Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante, echoed that point: “As I’ve said a thousand times, you do a scene with Jimmy Gandolfini and walk away a better actor.”
On her most memorable scene with the late actor, Falco, who famously portrayed Carmela Soprano, recalled a poolside conversation between the fictional couple that takes place in the sixth episode of the first season. “It was just a day in the life of a long-term couple,” said Falco. As for that still-debated series finale, specifically its abrupt ending, Falco said, “I never knew what was going on. That’s the truth. I didn’t know what it meant, and if it meant anything.” Adding, “I was just so grateful to be a part of it in any way.” Watch the emotional reunion above.