Michael Gandolfini was candid about his relationship with his dad, admitting James Gandolfini was “away a lot” filming “The Sopranos” during his childhood. Years later, while preparing for his role as young Tony Soprano in the series’ movie prequel, he found comfort in being able to see his father on-screen again. However, the young star told Esquire it also reminded him that the late actor’s career was “rough” for the family as it meant he wasn’t always around.
Looking back now, Michael thinks this is why his dad didn’t want him to go into acting. “As I got older, he wanted me to play sports. I felt that burden. I wanted to make him proud. And he said, ‘Don’t be an actor; be a director. They have the power,'” he explained. As it turns out, Michael signed up for acting classes after James’ death as a form of therapy. “From the first day, I fell in love with it,” he shared. “It actually started my grieving process with my dad.”