"SOPRANOS" CREATOR SAYS HE LIKES TO WHACK CHARACTERS
-- ON "60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY"
Actor James Gandolfini Says All Writers Are Vampires
Fans of HBO's award winning series "The Sopranos" have to wait another year to find out exactly what creator David Chase has in store for New Jersey's most notorious mob family. Chase and his crew have begun shooting the sixth and final season, but the plots are being kept secret -- even to the actors. Edie Falco and James Gandolfini may not know what will happen to their characters in the final episodes, but one thing is for sure -- anyone can be killed. Chase tells 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY Correspondent Bob Simon that he whacks characters because he's easily bored. Simon's report will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY, May 18 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Violence and rage are two constants on "The Sopranos" and Chase recognized those characteristics in actor James Gandolfini, who plays family patriarch Tony Soprano. "I have a little bit of a temper but it's�a useless temper," says Gandolfini. "It doesn't accomplish anything, generally. It's just a lot of ranting and raving and nothing, so David probably saw that and put it into the character. You know, all writers are vampires and�they'll look around and they watch you when you're not even thinking they're watching you and they'll slip stuff in." That doesn't bother Gandolfini because on the set of "The Sopranos," Chase is the real godfather. "He's a hell of a lot smarter than 99 percent of the people that I've worked with and he's a hell of a lot smarter than me, so I know when to shut up and listen," says the program's star.
Most of the actors on "The Sopranos" tremble in fear of losing their jobs, not because HBO might cancel the show, but because Chase, a known serial killer of television characters, might decide to deep-six them. "One of the things I like about doing this show is that you can kill people off, and it helps with my problem, which is I get bored with things really easily," says Chase.
Writing storylines for Edie Falco's character -- Tony Soprano's wife, Carmela -- has kept Chase's interest. "Carmela's been difficult," says Chase. "It's been a difficult character because you can get to a thing with her where she's just bitching, she's just complaining and she's no fun and she's just a nag, but Carmela's trapped and so she's always reactive as opposed to proactive, so Carmela's a hard character to write."
But Falco is certain that Tony Soprano won't whack her character during the show's final season. "That would be unlikely," says Falco. "Who would cook?"
Jeff Fager is the executive producer of 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY and Joel Bernstein is the producer of this report.