One of them is in the hospital, the other is dead, but that didn’t stop two stars of “The Sopranos” from talking to MTV News about the much-loved mob drama’s finale.
Well, talking as much as you’d expect from a pair of well-heeled Mafioso.
“I musta done a hundred interviews this week, and everybody has a scenario [about how the show will end], and everybody is wrong. It’s amazing,” laughed Steven Van Zandt, whose Silvio Dante clings to life in an emergency room as the show enters its final episode on Sunday. “Nobody can figure out the brain of [creator] David Chase. He’s just so brilliant. And I don’t know how he does it, but he’s always gonna surprise you no matter what you think about, what you’re guessing. He’s amazing that way.”
“When I started the character, they called me up, I’d show up. Then I became a regular, with more and more to do. And the more material they give you on ‘The Sopranos,’ the better chance you’re getting killed,” said Steven Schirripa — a.k.a. Bobby Baccalieri — whose character was offed in a memorable scene from last week’s episode. “And it’s always a worry with all of us, and anyone who tells you it’s not is lying. We sweat this out season after season. Now I’m dead. OK, the show’s over. But if it were a year or two ago, I would’ve felt just awful, leaving all these great people. It’s like you’re not on the team anymore. It’s like you got traded or something.”
Yes, after six epic seasons — stretched out over eight and a half years — HBO’s “Sopranos” will ride into the sunset this weekend. And with so much still up in the air (Who lives? Who dies? What’s AJ’s problem?) fans are digging for clues everywhere and anywhere, much to the delight of the show’s stars.
“It’s been so much fun watching people guess how this show is going to end. And that’s been going on for years,” said Van Zandt, whose days jobs — founder of Wicked Cool Records, host of the syndicated radio show “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and, by the way, guitarist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band — aren’t a bad fallback once “The Sopranos” is said and done. In fact, “[Bruce and the rest of the band] ended up watching,” Steven said. “I got a lot of sympathy calls this week. I gotta get shot more often.”
Of course neither Van Zandt nor Schirripa is going to spill any details about how Chase’s master-class drama wraps up. But they are more than willing to talk about the experiences they had working on the show — in particular, what they’ll miss about their lives now that it’s over.
“I’m gonna miss the people,” Van Zandt said. “I’m gonna miss Tony Sirico [who plays silver-haired badass Paulie Walnuts]. He makes me laugh all day. We really are quite close, and hopefully we’ll still see each other. David — I just love hanging out with him. He’s a brilliant mind. I’m gonna miss being someone else a few days a week. … It’s a mental vacation. Acting in general is like that; you’re pretty much someone else, and you’re in their mind for a bit.”
“We’re very close friends — we’re all watching the finale together,” Schirripa added. “I’ll miss the material, the friends, the producers, the directors … it was a great experience. It’s a situation that’s probably not going to come around again, no matter what you do. We did something special together, and I don’t think it’ll come around again. I do believe it’s probably the greatest one-hour show in TV history.”