Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sopranos Looking to do a Job

Friends of ours: Soprano Crime Family

The cast of "The Sopranos" is less worried about getting whacked than getting new jobs once the series is over in June.

Sopranos Looking to do a JobAt last night's humungous premiere at Radio City Music Hall, followed by a party that swamped Rockefeller Center, that seemed to be the uppermost thought in the minds of everyone from actors to crew.

Nevertheless, James Gandolfini, whose work has been so stellar as Tony Soprano, told me he's taking a year off after the show wraps. The final episode is still being worked on. "At least a year," he joked with me.

Gandolfini's running joke is that while he has been on the show, every movie he made has been so bad that it has wrecked the career of the star he "supported" in each film — think Ben Affleck.

In the next couple of weeks, he opens with John Travolta in a film that's being dumped, essentially. It's called "Lonely Hearts" and, well, fugeddaboutit. "That's right," Gandolfini laughed when we recalled the old joke. But it's also possible that he was so successful with the TV series, he may have to wait for success in films, I offered. "I hope you're right," he said. "But I'm still taking the time off."

Lorraine Bracco laughed heartily about the future. "They love you when you're on top. But wait 'til you're on the bottom," she cried.

Bracco's had a long enough career to know this isn't the end, but it may take a while to get over "The Sopranos." Most of her family, except her ailing mom, came to the premiere: her dad, two daughters, sister and brother-in-law, actor Aidan Quinn.

There were plenty of other Sopranos, dead and alive, all at Rockefeller Center, including Edie Falco, who left the party early to make a morning shoot for the show; Vince Curatola, who does such a magnificent job as Johnny Sack, head of the New York mob; Michael Imperioli, who plays Christopher; Drea de Matteo, whose Adrianna is still being discussed; Jamie-Lynn Sigler; Robert Iler; Dominic Chianese; Steve Schirippa; Aida Turturro; Steve Buscemi; and "Little" Steven Van Zandt, aka Silvio.

Curatola, by the way, doesn't have to worry about future work. He's just made an independent movie called "Frame of Mind" with "Law & Order" star Chris Noth. And he still sings occasionally with the rock group Chicago.

Buscemi, of course, is always busy. And Van Zandt is putting together a TV pilot for his "Underground Garage" station that he does on Sirius Satellite Radio — that is, when he's not playing in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Imperioli told me he's making movies in Portugal and Iceland.

Thanks to Roger Friedman

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