For obvious reasons, James Gandolfini's legacy will be forever tied to Tony Soprano. It's the role he played the longest and which left the deepest impact, both on viewers and within the industry at large. But the late actor, who died (too soon) of an apparent heart attack on Wednesday, had a gallery of memorable movie characters as well, particularly after The Sopranos transformed him from a struggling supporting player (he had small, but memorable turns in films like True Romance and Crimson Tide in the run-up to the 1999 debut of The Sopranos) into a sought-after character actor who appeared in a rich variety of films, from the sublime (Spike Jonze's lovely adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are) to the absurd (John Turturro's intriguing, but problematic musical Romance & Cigarettes). And even when the films themselves stank (Surviving Christmas anyone?) Gandolfini's mere presence made them less painful than they otherwise might have been. Here are five Gandolfini movie characters we'd place alongside his towering turn as a New Jersey don.
The fact that HBO's latest half-hour comedy Veep is premiering a full week after Girls is something of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, so much attention, hype and praise was lavished upon Lena Dunham's series in the run-up to its debut that Veep finally bowed last night feeling almost like an afterthought, despite the presence of an established TV actress (as opposed to an untested multi-hyphenate dabbling in the medium for the first time) in the form of Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Actually, having Louis-Dreyfus on board might have equally contributed to the perception of Veep as an also-ran in the race to anoint the next great HBO series. Look at the fresh-faced youngsters adorning the posters and teasers for Girls and you feel like you're gazing at the next generation of television stars. Seeing Louis-Dreyfus adorning her own one-sheet, on the other hand, seems like a nod to the past.
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