‘The Sopranos’: Stevie Van Zandt Remembers Incredible Gesture From Late Star James Gandolfini

by Megan Molseed

There’s no doubt that the late film and TV star James Gandolfini has left quite a legacy. His most well-known role has changed the scope of television and dramas as he portrays the loveable – but dangerous – anti-hero lead, Tony Soprano in the HBO series, The Sopranos. Now, one of his Sopranos costars, Steven Van Zandt addresses a major gesture the late actor made while starring in the series. A gesture, Van Zandt says, that is absolutely true.

Recently, one fan of The Sopranos posed the question to the actor, asking about a legendary tale that has long been circulating about Gandolfini. A tale that highlights just how selfless the late actor was in real life.

Hey @StevieVanZandt!” the Twitter user writes in the post.

“Is it true James Gandolfini gave each actor at [The Sopranos] $33,333 of his own money to settle a salary dispute the cast had with @HBO?” the fan asks. Thank you brother!”

Former The Sopranos Star Recounts A Major Gesture That The Late James Gandolfini Made While Starring In the Hit HBO Drama Series

It was a question many fans of The Sopranos have long wanted to find answers to. After all, it was big news when it happened. Reports have long noted that during a salary dispute among the cast of the popular mobster series Gandolfini stepped in big-time to support his costars, stepping in to share his own salary to balance out the pay scale in the series.

However, many still wonder, how much of this is true? And, consequently, how much of the tale has been exaggerated over time?

According to Steven Van Zandt, there is little exaggeration to the story. James Gandolfini did, in fact, give his costars part of his own salary from his time on The Sopranos. However, the actor notes that this had nothing to do with a salary dispute perse. It was simply Gandolfini’s giving nature.

“It wasn’t to settle a salary dispute,” the former Sopranos star says in response to the initial tweet. According to Van Zandt, the cast of The Sopranos weren’t even challenging a salary discrepancy at this point. However, Gandolfini still found it important to balance the pay scales. To do this, the award-winning actor voluntarily shared his massive raise with his costars, splitting it among the actors he worked with each day on the hit HBO crime-drama series.

“He had gotten a big raise,” Van Zandt relates in his Twitter response on Friday, June 17. Van Zandt adds that the star “just divided it” with his cast members.

“He was one of a kind,” Van Zandt says of his former costar.