Saoirse Ronan says the late James Gandolfini was 'like a father' on set
IRISH actress Saoirse Ronan has told of how ‘Sopranos’ star James Gandolfini became like a father to her on set before his untimely death.
Carlow teenager Ronan said in an interview with IFTN that the much-loved on-screen mafia boss took her under his wing during production.
The 19-year-old worked with Gandolfini in one of his last movies, the 2011 film ‘Violent and Daisy’.
“He was amazing - one of my favourite people to work with. He came in about three weeks into the shoot and kind of became the father of the set in a way,” she said. Saoirse Ronan says the late James Gandolfini was 'like a father' on set
“He really took care of all of us, especially me. He really took me under his wing and was a great teacher as well in the way he handles himself on set," she said in an interview with IFTN.
“And I think of his son [Michael] as well. I met his son when we were doing ‘Violet and Daisy’ and hung out with him. He was about 11 at the time and he just adored his son. It’s awful what’s happened.”
Gandolfini (51) died after suffering a fatal heart attack in his hotel room in Rome, where he was tracing his family roots.
His body was found by his 13-year-old son, Michael.
Ronan said that she felt extremely sad that the US actor, who was just beginning to emerge from the shadow cast by his character Tony Soprano before his sudden death.
“I think the most heartbreaking thing as well is that since ‘The Sopranos’ he’s had to really make his mark in the film world and he had really started to do that,” Ronan said.
“We have the same agent and I think about the stuff he was going to do in the future. And he’d been doing theatre too.
“He was just one of the best actors to ever come out of America, I think. So it’s really heartbreaking that, at the peak of his career, it happened,” she added.
The IFTA award winning starlet is currently enjoying a break from work, after shooting back-to-back productions over the past 12 months.
She went from filming an adaptation of 'Twilight' author Stephanie Meyer's 'The Host', to starring with Brad Pitt in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' and has just completed fantasy thriller 'How To Catch A Monster' in the US.