Star re­veals de­tails of “The So­pra­nos” pre­quel

Lethbridge Herald - - TELEVISION | ENTERTAINMENT -

The star of the up­com­ing “The So­pra­nos” pre­quel says a young Tony So­prano will be a part of the film — but had good rea­son to be care­ful about how much else he re­vealed about “The Many Saints of Ne­wark.”

Alessan­dro Nivola talked to The As­so­ci­ated Press about the project on the red car­pet be­fore a panel dis­cus­sion led by cre­ator David Chase to cel­e­brate the 20th an­niver­sary of “The So­pra­nos” in New York.

“I guess I got to be kind of dis­creet about it, so David Chase doesn’t kill me,” Nivola said. “I’m play­ing Dickie Molti­santi, who is the cen­tral char­ac­ter in the movie, and he is Christo­pher Molti­santi’s dad.”

Christo­pher Molti­santi, who was played by Michael Im­pe­ri­oli in the series, was a pro­tege of Tony So­prano, the New Jersey mob boss por­trayed by James Gan­dolfini.

Though the elder Molti­santi never ap­peared in the series, he is of­ten men­tioned as part of Christo­pher’s back­story. The father was gunned down when Christo­pher was young and Nivola said the film will ex­plore the in­ter­lock­ing his­tory of Dickie Molti­santi and So­prano.

“Tony will be a char­ac­ter in the film, and as was men­tioned through­out ‘The So­pra­nos’ series, my char­ac­ter was an im­por­tant per­son in his life, and it ex­am­ines that re­la­tion­ship as well,” Nivola said.

The film be­gins in 1967 with the back­drop of the race ri­ots that tore through Ne­wark, New Jersey. Nivola said racial ten­sion is “a big part of the story.”

Nivola cited “weird co­in­ci­dences” that told him this role was meant for him, in­clud­ing the fact that his real-life neigh­bour is Tim Van Pat­ten, who di­rected many episodes of “The So­pra­nos.”

An­other co­in­ci­dence con­nects his own fam­ily to the show: An episode in the sec­ond sea­son shows So­prano vis­it­ing Naples, Italy, and in one of the scenes, just over Gan­dolfini’s shoul­der, is seen a sculp­ture — made by Nivola’s grand­fa­ther, the artist Con­stantino Nivola. “So it was meant to be or some­thing,” Alessan­dro Nivola said.

Chase will pro­duce “The Many Saints of Ne­wark” and has writ­ten the script with “The So­pra­nos” writer Lawrence Kon­ner. Alan Tay­lor, who helmed episodes of “The So­pra­nos,” “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones,” will di­rect. “The Many Saints of Ne­wark” be­gins shoot­ing in April.

“So, I got a lit­tle time to hang out in social clubs be­fore then,” Nivola joked.

Alessan­dro Nivola

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