independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gandolfini 'avoids' lead roles

James Gandolfini plays Pat in Not Fade Away

James Gandolfini has said he is happy to avoid the spotlight of leading man roles and prefers smaller character parts.

The Sopranos star can be seen in Kathryn Bigelow's Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama Zero Dark Thirty as Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and plays the old-school father of a wannabe rocker in David Chase's '60s period drama Not Fade Away.

And in Andrew Dominick's crime flick Killing Them Softly, he plays an aged, washed-up hit man.

None of the roles are showy lead men, and that's just fine with Gandolfini.

"I'm much more comfortable doing smaller things," Gandolfini said in a recent interview. "I like them. I like the way they're shot; they're shot quickly. It's all about the scripts - that's what it is - and I'm getting some interesting little scripts."

The 51-year-old actor won three Emmys while playing Tony Soprano for eight years, but has said the sensation of the show grated on him.

He said that after The Sopranos, he didn't quite regain himself as an actor until he starred in the Tony-winning play God Of Carnage on Broadway in 2009.

"It really grounded me more as an actor again," he said. "Then I could go off and try different things."

For Gandolfini, reuniting with Sopranos creator Chase on Not Fade Away was like "getting back to work" on a simple, small movie set after the "big huge thing" of the The Sopranos.

"The main thing we have is a small sharing of a certain amount of self-loathing and a sense of humour," laughed Gandolfini. "I get David's sense of humour immediately."

Press Association

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