The creator of The Sopranos said at James Gandolfini’s funeral that the actor brought the traits of a sad boy, “amazed and confused,” to the role of Tony Soprano.
“You were a good boy,” David Chase said Thursday at the ceremony at New York’s Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.
Chase gave his remarks in the form of a letter to Gandolfini. The actor’s widow, Deborah Lin, and two family friends also spoke.
Chase remembered that Gandolfini once told him that “you know what I want to be? A man. That’s all. I want to be a man.” Chase said he marveled upon hearing that, since Gandolfini was a man so many others looked up to.
Chase added that, paradoxically, he always felt that in Gandolfini he was seeing a young boy as well as a man. “A sad boy, amazed and confused,” he said. “You could see it in your eyes. That’s why you were a great actor.”
Fellow actors were among the mourners, along with members of the public who wanted to salute Gandolfini’s work.
Those from The Sopranos included Edie Falco, Joe Pantoliano, Dominic Chianese, Steve Schirripa, Aida Turturro, Vincent Curatola, Tony Sirico, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli. Another former cast mate, Steve Buscemi, chatted with Dick Cavett before the ceremony started. Others from the acting community included Julianna Margulies, Alec Baldwin, Chris Noth, Marcia Gay Harden and Steve Carell.
Some 1,500 seats had been set up in the huge sanctuary. A private family wake was held for the actor Wednesday in New Jersey.
James Goodness, a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese, told The Bergen Record he believes Gandolfini’s family has a plot at Maryrest in Mahwah, N.J., but it is unclear where the actor will be buried.