“A one-of-a-kind” item James Gandolfini handed the cast of ‘The Sopranos’ a bonus from his own salary.

Steve Van Zandt, a Sopranos cast member, revealed how the late James Gandolfini shared a pay raise he received while on the show with the rest of the cast.

According to Van Zandt, Ganolfini, who played mob leader Tony Soprano in the long-running HBO programme, earned a “significant” pay raise and opted to split it with his other cast members.

When asked if Gandolfini “gave each actor [in] The Sopranos $33,000 of his own money,” Van Zandt verified that he did – but not to resolve a “salary issue,” as previously reported.

Replying to the fan, Van Zandt said: “It wasn’t to settle a salary dispute. He had gotten a big raise and just divided it among the cast. He was one of a kind.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda talked about how Gandolfini supported him on set when filming a brief role on The Sopranos earlier this year.


In the 15th episode of the sixth season, the Hamilton creator featured as a hotel employee who meets paths with Tony Soprano (Gandolfini) and Paulie Gualtieri (Tony Sirico) on their road trip from New Jersey to Florida.

The actor detailed how Gandolfini helped calm his nerves while filming. “My one story about Gandolfini was that he stayed and did his sides even though it was the end of the night. He had no need to do that,” Miranda added. “He stayed and did the scene for the scared-shitless Puerto Rican kid in the bellhop outfit.”

Speaking about Gandolfini, Miranda also said the actor would always be out on set and never hid away in his trailer. “He was just out, and people would talk to him,” he added.


After he was sacked from HBO’s The Sopranos, writer Todd Kessler said that Gandolfini took him out to dinner last year. Gandolfini supported actor Peter Riegert when he was uncomfortable filming a naked scene, according to Riegert.

In 2013, Gandolfini died of a heart attack at the age of 51.

The Many Saints Of Newark, a prequel spin-off film starring his son Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano, was released last year.

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