Former ‘Sopranos’ Writer Shows Further Proof James Gandolfini Was a Great Guy

by Michael Freeman
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When watching a longstanding television show or movie series, it can be difficult to separate the actor from their onscreen character. A perfect example is Sopranos actor James Gandolfini, who is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet, according to a former show writer.

Despite appearing on the Sopranos as the cruel and incredibly aggressive Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini couldn’t be further from his onscreen persona. Looper provides a great example showing his kindness, in an example involving a former show writer. Todd A. Kessler is the writer in question and after season 3, was let go from the Sopranos writing team. He and Gandolfini had grown close and after he found out about Kessler being fired and was there for him. He insisted the two go out to dinner, but his kindness didn’t stop there.

“Jim called me up after he finished work that day,” Kessler told the outlet. “He knew what had happened, and he said, ‘I’m taking you out.'” While at dinner, two women approached the duo. James Gandolfini introduced Kessler as a television writer and even included the fact he got fired. This caused Kessler to become embarrassed, but no one else seemed to care about that detail.

“But [the women] didn’t care,” Kessler continued. “And we talked a little bit, they laughed, and then Jim said to me — and it was really one of those moments that will forever stick with me of Jim — he said: ‘You do not shrink. You have nothing to hang your head about.'” Gandolfini then added, “You hold your head high and know that you did great work.”

James Gandolfini Helped a ‘Sopranos’ Peer After MS Diagnosis

James Gandolfini’s big heart applies to much more than just taking someone out to dinner. There are numerous reports from costars and his peers of him looking out for others. For instance, another example is helping a co-star after their MS diagnosis.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler was the mentioned actress, per Insider. Unfortunately, when Sigler received her MS diagnosis, she was also getting a divorce from her husband. Sufficed to say, she wasn’t in a great place at the time. However, she said James Gandolfini “stepped up” to help her.

“There was a time in the maybe fourth or fifth season where I was dealing with my divorce privately and my diagnosis of MS and a lot of other stuff that I wasn’t talking to people about, and he really stepped up,” the actress reported. Elaborating, she gave an example, stating “He sent his acting coach, Susan Aston, to work with me, just to make sure I was taken care of. Little things like that, that he really just stepped up in amazing ways.”

Outsider.com