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I wanted Gandolfini to star at the Gate, says Colgan


Michael Colgan. Photo: Mark Condren

Michael Colgan. Photo: Mark Condren

Michael Colgan. Photo: Mark Condren

THE sudden and untimely death of James Gandolfini is a "great loss to the acting community", says Michael Colgan.

The artistic director of the Gate Theatre spent time with the 51-year-old actor on the set of The Sopranos.

"He was a nice man, a very modest man and a fantastic actor," Colgan told the Herald earlier today. "It's a great loss."

Colgan wanted to cast him in his 2005 production of A View From The Bridge at The Gate. Colgan flew to the States to discuss the project with him.

"I wanted to cast him in the lead role of Eddie Carbone," he explained.

"I thought he would have fantastic charisma on stage so I talked to his agent, went to the States and arranged to meet him for lunch," he explained.

"But filming for The Sopranos got held up for a day, so instead of going for lunch I jumped in a car and went out to Silvercup studios – where it was filmed. I was on set all day.

"In between takes I went to his Winnebago and talked about coming over to Ireland.

"He would have loved to have done the show but it didn't work out due to his schedule," Michael explained.

"But he was a truly gifted actor – great presence on and off screen and he'll definitely be missed."