James Gandolfini gave ‘Sopranos’ co-stars $33K each to end contract dispute, save show

James Gandolfini proved he’s always been a generous man.

The late “Sopranos” star looked out for his fellow castmates and gifted each of them $33,000 after an HBO contract dispute, according to a new book.

The tell-all, titled “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers,” outlines that Gandolfini signed a contract that would pay him $5 million per season. HBO doubled his salary after the third season aired in 2001.

However, the “Enough Said” star and his team repeatedly asked for higher compensation after that and even went so far as to file a breach of contract lawsuit in Los L.A. That led to the network countersuing the actor.

“Jim was a brilliant actor but a complicated guy to deal with,” former HBO president of programming Mike Lombardo said in the book.

Chris Albrecht, another former executive, revealed that the only way to end the negotiations would be to stop production on “The Sopranos,” which would have left the show’s cast and crew unemployed.

Web Search Engine
Tony Sirico, Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pastore in “The Sopranos.”

Out of concern for his coworkers, Gandolfini then agreed to the network’s offer of $13 million per season, or “a million an episode,” Albrecht said.

Following finalizing his contract, Gandolfini then wrote $33,000 checks for each of his co-stars, the book said.

After the 51-year-old Emmy-winner’s untimely death in June 2013, co-star Steve Schirripa spoke about the actor’s good deed.

James Gandolfini
“Jim was a brilliant actor but a complicated guy to deal with,” a former HBO executive said.

“As good of an actor as he was, he was a better guy. A generous guy. The guy gave us $33,000 each — 16 people,” the 64-year-old said in an interview with New York’s WFAN radio station back in 2013. “In Season 4 he called every one of the regular castmembers and gave us a check. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.’ It’s like buying 16 people a car.

“My legs came out from under me,” Schirripa said of first learning of Gandolfini’s passing.

“I was completely stunned because Jim is the kind of guy who is invincible,” he continued. “He’s like that kind of guy. Nothing could happen to this guy.”

Artmotion U.S.A

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button