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In bite-sized roles, Gandolfini ubiquitous again

December 25, 2012 • Entertainment


FILE – This publicity film image released by Paramount Vantage shows James Gandolfini, as Pat, in a scene from the film “Not Fade Away.” In the five years since “The Sopranos” ended, Gandolfini has eschewed the spotlight, instead disappearing into character actor performances such as this one. These roles, while they may lack the iconography of Tony Soprano, have only further proved the actor’s wide-ranging talent. (AP Photo/Paramount Vantage, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — In the five years since “The Sopranos” ended, James Gandolfini has eschewed the spotlight, instead disappearing into a heap of character actor performances that, while they may lack the heft of Tony Soprano, have only further proved the actor’s wide-ranging talent.

This season offers a gluttony of Gandolfini, albeit in bite-sized parts. In Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden hunt docudrama “Zero Dark Thirty,” he plays Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. In David Chase’s ’60s period drama “Not Fade Away,” he plays the old-school father of a wannabe rocker. And in Andrew Dominick’s crime flick “Killing Them Softly,” he plays an aged, washed-up hit man.

None of the roles are showy lead men, and that’s just fine with Gandolfini.

“I’m much more comfortable doing smaller things,” Gandolfini said in a recent interview. “I like them. I like the way they’re shot; they’re shot quickly. It’s all about the scripts — that’s what it is — and I’m getting some interesting little scripts.”

The 51-year-old actor takes scant pleasure in interviews and rarely does them. This is partly because Gandolfini — sitting attentively with his hands on his knees, his head back and his let’s-hear-what-you-have-to-say eyes tilted downward — distrusts the ego-inflating effect of attention. Login to read more

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