Any actor would’ve killed to be on “The Sopranos” during its six-season run on HBO, so it’s not too surprising to hear Alec Baldwin tried his best to get cast on the series. What is surprising is the role Baldwin wanted to play. During a conversation with “Sopranos” co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on the most recent episode of their “Talking Sopranos” podcast (via Deadline), Baldwin revealed he once cold-called “The Sopranos” production team and pitched them on casting him as Tony Soprano’s murderer. The pitch was made long before the infamous cut-to-black finale, which ended with Tony’s fate left in the balance.
“I called up whoever it was…and said…there’s only one man in this business who should come in, whack [James Gandolfini’s Tony], and ride off with [Edie Falco’s Carmela], and I am that man,” Baldwin said. “They were like, ‘Sure, great. We’ll add your name to the list of all the Irish actors who think that they should be on ‘The Sopranos.’”
Turns out Baldwin was one of hundreds that wanted their chance to be a part of “The Sopranos.” Why did he not end up getting cast? Not only did the role Baldwin want to play just not exist, but he also had an unexpected meeting with “Sopranos” creator David Chase that he believes sealed his non-“Sopranos” fate.
As Deadline recapped: “[Baldwin] told Imperioli and Schirripa that he once encountered the Sopranos creator in an LA restaurant bathroom. There, on one particularly hot day in Southern California, he was looking to dry off his sweat-drenched suit, while running late for a meeting. ‘I’m holding my shirt up to the mechanical dryer, and the door opens, and….this is my introduction to David Chase,’ Baldwin shared. ‘He goes, ‘Alec Baldwin? What the fuck are you doing, drying your shirt in the bathroom at the Four Seasons restaurant?’ And I think based on that alone, I was never cast on your show.'”
Chase is reviving “The Sopranos” for an upcoming prequel movie titled “The Many Saints of Newark,” coming to theaters and HBO Max on September 24. The film casts James Gandolfini’s son, Michael, as a younger version of Tony Soprano. The cast also includes Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, John Magaro, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga, but not Alec Baldwin.