We Hope You've Been Saving Your Receipts
Through eight years and six seasons, The Sopranos has dominated entertainment awards, defined HBO's niche in the production of original scripted drama, and provided guest-star opportunities for East Coast-based actors between shots on Law & Order. But as the series draws to a close, some of these folks are going to experience an immediate change in their fortunes. Who, when we examine their fame, is most likely to find it severely taxed as soon as the series is off the air?
Name: Lorraine Bracco
Occupation: Actor; sometime hot mess
Non-Sopranos Experience: 33 movies; one Oscar nomination
Assessment: You know, I wouldn't necessarily choose to undertake a long-term therapeutic relationship with Jennifer Melfi, because her scratchy baby voice would drive me even crazier. But Lorraine Bracco has actually done a good job of toning down her natural blowsiness for the role -- and of being even blowsier in her real life to avoid typecasting as a restrained psychiatrist. The trouble she may have post-Sopranos is that, other than HBO, she's squandered her Goodfellas legacy by languishing in straight-to-tapers when she's not winning Worst Actress Razzies. But maybe she doesn't even want to be an actor anymore; she might be weirdly right as a daytime talk-show host....
Assets: Any time you think she's a hack, you just need to watch Goodfellas again and remember that, though she's coasting now, she is capable of tremendous work.
Liabilities: She totally is coasting now, though. And appearing drunk on Conan is not helping to make her look like a competent professional who cares whether she ever works again.
Current approximate level of fame: Annabella Sciorra
Deserved approximate level of fame, post-Sopranos: Whoopi Goldberg
Name: Dominic Chianese
Occupation: Actor; crooner
Non-Sopranos Experience: 33 movies; one soap opera
Assessment: As Uncle Junior, Dominic Chianese has shown us many moods -- tough as a bastard; disgraced at having been found out as a performer of cunnilingus; way senile. And while we were pleased when he popped up in Unfaithful, the fact that his next picture stars a Baldwin other than Alec isn't encouraging. (Fine -- it's William, the second-best one. Still.)
Assets: You can't beat a pure Italian tenor.
Liabilities: He's probably kind of a tough sell to insurers, given that, uh...well, he's old, okay?