Belfast Telegraph

Gandolfini doubted romcom ability

James Gandolifni did not think he could be the hero in a romantic comedy.

The Sopranos star - who died in June of a heart attack aged 51 - stars in Nicole Holfcener's film Enough Said as Albert, who starts dating fellow single parent Eva, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Julia revealed: "I think originally he was somewhat intimidated and he felt a little like, 'What am I doing in this picture, as the lead actor, the guy who gets the girl?' But it made him that much more loveable that he was self-effacing and it was actually very sweet."

Nicole added: "When I first cast Julia, I said, 'What do you think of James Gandolfini?' And she said, 'Oh sexy! Great, get him!'

"And then I asked Jim what do you think of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and he said, 'Are you kidding with me? That's a dream!'

"I think it took a while for him to trust that this was all going to work and not embarrass him. Although that's what made him such a good actor - he was pretty much always embarrassed and I think an actor who's embarrassed is an actor who's always exposing themselves.

"He was fun, and at the same time very serious. It didn't feel easy to him to play such a vulnerable character.

"I think he was anxious to take on a role that he hadn't had a chance to play yet. His character in The Sopranos was complex, and I think he was extraordinary in it. I didn't worry about whether he could be funny or emotional because he was all those things."

Nicole has made a string of indie comedies often focusing on relationships between women, and was surprised to find James had seen and liked them.

"It was thrilling to think 'Tony Soprano likes my movies', but it really helped because he got my style, he got the kind of movies I like to make."

:: Enough Said is in cinemas now.

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