In the wake of James Gandolfini’s death last Wednesday , his co-stars and fellow A-listers have mourned the loss of the “Sopranos” star. And on Tuesday, his “Welcome to the Rileys” co-star Kristen Stewart opened up for the first time about his death and remembered working with the actor on the 2010 indie.
“When I heard of James’ passing I was in New Orleans, where we met shooting, and every memory flooded back and gutted me,” the “Twilight” star told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. “I’ll hold that time near to me forever. He was immeasurably great. My heart goes out to his beloved family.”
Back in 2010, Stewart opened up to MTV News about appearing with Gandolfini in the flick, which follows a teen stripper (Stewart) who bonds with a grieving father (Gandolfini). The two move in with one another, and are eventually joined by his estranged wife (Melissa Leo), forming a kind of family.
“It’s actually really oddly comforting,” she said of working with the Emmy-winning actor . “Like, if you’re working with someone who’s an unknown, it’s always like, ’Oh, I hope they’re [OK].’ But going into a movie with James and Melissa [Leo], the nerves come from ’I hope I’m going to be OK’ rather than ’I hope they’re not going to let me down’.”
Gandolfini was with his family in Rome at the time of his death where he was expected to appear at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily. The 51-year-old reportedly died from a heart attack. After his passing, the festival paid tribute to the late New Jersey-native best known for his iconic portrayal of flawed mob boss Tony Soprano. His funeral will be held Thursday at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City.