(CBS Local) – Sopranos fans, the moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally coming this week. Young versions of Tony Soprano, Paulie Walnuts, Livia Soprano, Silvio Dante and Junior Soprano are back in the new film “The Many Saints of Newark.” The film from “The Sopranos” creator David Chase looks at Tony’s formative years in Newark, New Jersey in the 1960s.
Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolfini, plays Tony and the film features other big name actors such as Vera Farmiga, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll and Ray Liotta. The film revolves around the story of Dickie Moltisanti, Christopher Moltisanti’s father, and Tony Soprano’s mentor in the mafia business.
Island native and Long Island actress Gabriella Piazza plays Joanne Moltisanti, Dickie’s wife and Christopher’s mother. CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently spoke to Piazza about his breakout role in the film, what working with Chase, Gandolfini and Liotta was like and what kind of reactions he thinks fans of “The Sopranos” will have. there will be a prequel to this film. “The Many Saints of Newark” is in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, October 1st.
“I just started being serendipitous to watch the series The Sopranos,” Piazza said. “I wasn’t allowed to watch it grow. My dad was a former FBI agent. I just started it and when it got to the audition, they changed the names and all the content on it, so you have to do your own investigation. I’m reading it and it became like The Sopranos. It was wild and I went in and I felt like I was at home. I was screaming about eating at a dinner table, which was the audition. “
Unlike many of the other characters in this film, Joanne Moltisanti only appears a few times in “The Sopranos,” but Christopher Moltisanti talks about her every once in a while. Piazza wants him to have a blank canvas to create a new character.
“I thought hard about who would create Christopher,” Piazza said. “Who will be Christopher’s mother in the series. I wanted to bring that matriarch and a real Italian wife in the 1960s and 1970s and it’s a blessing to play with David Chase’s writing and Lawrence Konner’s writing. It’s great.”
While there were many memorable moments from the experience, one of the best for Piazza was having the opportunity to work with Liotta. The New Jersey and the star of “Goodfellas” plays Aldo Moltisanti in the film. Piazza learned a lot from Liotta, Chase and Michael Gandolfini during her time on the set of this film.
“You walk into the set and these heavy hitters are incredibly talented and Ray is one of those people,” Piazza said. “I’ve been with a few scenes with him and he’s focused and super funny. His takes are just magic. In between takes he’s freakin ‘funny. He assumes you’re comfortable and he’s an extraordinary actor “It was like I was watching a masterclass when I worked with him.”
“Reading the table day, Michael Gandolfini came up to me and introduced himself and made me feel like I was comfortable there. He just paved the way for us and a very good viewing experience in his work. He took it and did it. it’s so beautiful. He proved us all to take it. It’s an honor and he’s become a dear friend of mine. I’m so happy for him to have this experience and he’s throwing it out of the park. “