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Current approximate level of fame: Sela Ward Deserved approximate level of fame, post-Sopranos: Emma Thompson Name: James Gandolfini Age: 45 Occupation: Actor; adenoid case Non-Sopranos Experience: 29 movies Assessment: Playing Tony Soprano, a character at the centre of a sprawling family -- and Family -- drama, James Gandolfini joins a long tradition of sympathetic fictional mobsters. The layers of detail that both the actor and creator David Chase have brought to Tony's story have brought us more insight than ever before into the logistics of running a crime organization, for which Gandolfini has earned his place in pop-culture history. It's too bad that, in doing so, he's earned a reputation as kind of a prick with his obstructionist salary demands and negotiating tactics -- but then again, what do we know? Maybe playing Ernest Hemingway will make him the next Jamie Foxx. Assets: Some women find him sexy, apparently. Liabilities: Quiet scenes where you can hear his laboured breathing really, really gross us out. Current approximate level of fame: William Petersen Deserved approximate level of fame, post-Sopranos: Chris Cooper Name: Robert Iler Age: 22 Occupation: Actor, perp Non-Sopranos Experience: 3 movies Assessment: Robert Iler has the largely thankless role of playing AJ -- overlooked second child, college drop-out, shiftless lout, constant fuck-up. In a word, he's a loser. The show does make a point of showing that his parents' alternating indulgence and neglect are responsible for AJ's lack of character, but he still kind of has yet to redeem himself in any meaningful way, and at this point, do you care if he does? Do you ever want to see the douche that brings him to life douching it up in any other roles? 'Cause we really don't. Assets: Getting arrested for robbery and marijuana possession in 2001 did give a little extra authenticity to his performance. Liabilities: Don't you already forget he's on the show sometimes? Current approximate level of fame: Jerry Ferrara Deserved approximate level of fame, post-Sopranos: Christopher Serrone Name: Michael Imperioli (b. James Michael Imperioli) Age: 41 Occupation: Actor; profile Non-Sopranos Experience: 47 movies