‘Seinfeld’ Star Jason Alexander Helped This Actor Land a Classic Role on ‘The Sopranos’: Here’s How

by Taylor Cunningham

As it turns out, Seinfeld star Jason Alexander played a part in Al Sapienza landing his short but epic role in The Sopranos.

While visiting the Talking Sopranos podcast in 2021, Sapienza admitted that Alexander inadvertently put him right in front of The Sopranos casting director, Georgianne Walken. And ironically, it was when the George Castanza actor was considering Sapienza for another role.

As the story went, he and Alexander had become friends while starring in separate plays in Los Angeles long ago. And when Jason Alexander’s 1990s classic TV hit ended, he decided to branch out into directing, which prompted him to call his good friend Al Sapienza.

Sapienza met Alexander to read for the 1999 film Just Looking—but, he didn’t get the part. However, for some reason, Georgianne Walken was watching that day and she was impressed with Sapienza’s acting chops. In fact, she was so impressed that she wanted him for the show she was heavily casting at the time.

As the actor shared, just one week after reading for Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander, he was shooting episodes for The Sopranos.

Al Sapienza starred as Mikey Palmice in 10 episodes during seasons 1 and 4. The majority of his work came during the 1st year when he tagged along with Junior Soprano as his faithful goon. Palmice, unfortunately, didn’t live long. But the character did end up being one of the most impressive in the story. And because of that, the actor went on to be a major player in Hollywood.

After literally killing it on The Sopranos, Sapienza went on to star in other major shows like Prison Break, House of Cards, and Suits. And he also currently has nine projects in the works.

‘Seinfeld’ Star Jason Alexander Continued to Direct After Leaving His Classic Sitcom

Meanwhile, Jason Alexander continued to try his hand at directing for some time after leaving Seinfeld.

Over the years, the Emmy nominated actor has directed 10 different projects ranging from TV episodes to motion pictures. Some of his works include Mike & MollyFranklin and Bash, and Criminal Minds.

But in recent years, he returned to the stage to direct Broadway Bound, which happens to be a reboot of the same play that made him famous in the 1980s. And perhaps even the same play that led him to Al Sapienza.

Broadway Bound ran in Los Angeles in 2014. And since then, Jason Alexander has been more focused on his stand-up career, which is more akin to his talents on Seinfeld. Though he did tell The Hollywood Reporter that directing is his true passion. And if he could make a full-time job out of it, he would.

“If I could really move my career much more into predominantly directing, I would jump at that,” he shared. “If you’re asking me would I ever start a company like Reprise again, I probably wouldn’t endeavor to do that in Los Angeles.”