THR- Patrick shared a great anecdote about his first day on the set and how he pushed Gandolfini’s buttons on purpose, which was advice from his acting coach.
“I had never met Mr. Gandolfini,” Patrick began. “I am out front on a bench smoking a cigarette with Jimmy after we’d just done this read through. And we’re trying to get to know each other a little bit because we’re supposed to be high school buddies. As the conversation was winding up, I said to him, ‘You know the scene where you come to get your money, you better bring your fucking A-game.’ And he looked at me said, ‘Oh, I’ll bring my fucking A-game.'” Before he walked off, Gandolfini flicked his cigarette at Patrick.
The mission had been accomplished.
The next time the actors would see one another would be the moment when Tony comes to collect the $45,000 that degenerate gambler Davey borrowed and subsequently lost in the high-stakes “executive” poker game.
“[Gandolfini] came in and said, ‘How’s your balls?’ I said, ‘They’re fine.’ And he said, ‘I’m hungover, let’s do this fucking scene,'” Patrick recalled. “And man, it was one take. And he scared the living shit out of me. I was so intimidated. What a fantastic experience.”
Of course we all know this already, but there was no one better than James Gandolfini. Guy was just a fucking phenomenal actor and there's never been a human more suited for a specific role than him for one Tony Soprano...I know it sounds cheesy yet the guy was literally born to play Tony. So we obviously all loved him already and THEN they throw stories like this at us.
I mean this guy might as well be David Wells with that perfect game while hungover story. Any episode containing Davey Scatino is some of my favorites due to both Robert Patrick being just a great actor making us really fucking hate that dork and Tony going full fucking anger mode. Knowing that this was the face of a very, very, very hungover man makes it 100x better.
Not to mention 1 take…1 friggen take! I know a lot of folks that can't even walk down the street to get a bacon, egg, and cheese while hungover and I got this guy winning Emmy's while hungover over here. That's my president.