James Gandolfini gave ‘Sopranos’ co-stars $33K to save show

James Gandolfini has proven that he has always been a generous man.

The late “Soprano” star sought out his castmates and awarded them $33,000 each after a dispute over an HBO contract, according to a new book.

The book, “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers,” states that Gandolfini has signed a contract that will pay him $5 million per season. HBO doubled his salary after the third season aired in 2001.

However, the “Enough Said” star and his team repeatedly demanded higher compensation after that, and even went so far as to file a breach of contract lawsuit in Los LA, which resulted in the network resisting the actor.

“Jim was a brilliant actor but he was a complex to deal with,” Mike Lombardo, former head of HBO programmes, said in the book.

Another former executive, Chris Albrecht, revealed that the only way to end negotiations was to stop production on The Sopranos, which would have left the show’s cast and crew unemployed.

Tony Sirico, Stephen Van Zandt, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli and Vincent Pasteur in “The Sopranos”.
AP

Concerned for his co-workers, Albrecht then said he accepted the network’s offer of $13 million a season, or “one million episodes.”

The book said that after his contract was terminated, Gandolfini wrote checks for $33,000 to each of his co-stars.

After the 51-year-old Emmy winner passed away early in June 2013, co-star Steve Sherpa spoke about the actor’s good work.

James Gandolfini
“Jim was a brilliant actor, but he was a complicated guy to deal with,” said a former HBO executive.
HBO

“As much as he was a good actor, he was a better man. A generous man. The 64-year-old said in an interview with WFAN radio station in New York in 2013.” In season four, he called every member of the regular cast and gave us a check. He said, “Thank you for staying.” It’s like buying a car for 16 people.

“My legs popped out from under me,” Sherpa said of his first knowledge of Gandolfini’s death.

He continued, “I was totally shocked because Jim is that kind of indomitable guy.” “He is such a kind of guy. Nothing could happen to this guy.”

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