Nobody pressures Tony Soprano into doing things against his will. “The Sopranos” actors Steve Schirripa and Michael Imperioli appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast this week to promote their own “Talking Sopranos” podcast series and revealed that Harvey Weinstein once angered James Gandolfini so much that the Tony Soprano actor threatened to “beat the fuck” out of the now-disgraced movie producer and convicted rapist.
Gandolfini and Weinstein’s paths crossed during the marketing push for Andrew Dominik’s 2012 neo-noir crime thriller “Killing Them Softly,” which starred “The Sopranos” favorite opposite Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, and Ray Liotta. The Weinstein Company was the film’s distributor. Gandolfini was staunchly opposed to doing talk show interviews throughout his career because he felt he wasn’t “interesting enough,” but that rule did not fly with Weinstein. One day Schirripa and Gandolfini were on the “Killing Them Softly” set when Weinstein kept calling the latter to pressure him to promote the movie on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
“[Gandolfini] said, ‘Harvey Weinstein keeps calling, he wants me to do Letterman and I said no,'” Schirripa said. “And [Weinstein] got fucking nasty with Jim. And Jim said, ‘I will beat the fuck out of Harvey Weinstein! He fucking calls me again, I will beat the fuck out of him! For the money he paid me, I’m not fucking doing it!’ Swear to God. And this is before all the Harvey Weinstein shit when he was still king shit.”
James Gandolfini is far from the only actor who threatened to hurt the disgraced movie producer. Back in 1995, Brad Pitt threatened to kill Weinstein after then-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow revealed to Pitt that Weinstein had sexually harassed her. A couple years later, one of Hayao Miyazaki’s producers sent a samurai sword to Weinstein to warn the producer not to make any cuts to the U.S. theatrical release of “Princess Mononoke.”
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault. Gandolfini passed away in June 2013 after a run of film roles that included “Killing Them Soflty,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” and “Enough Said,” the latter of which was released posthumously and earned the late actor Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Indie Spirit Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.