Actor and musician Steven Van Zandt is opening up about her life and career ahead of the release of her upcoming memoir “Unrequited Infatuations.”
Thanks to the upcoming release of the prequel film “The many saints of Newark, “Renewed attention has been placed on the hit HBO drama” The Sopranos, “where Van Zandt played Tony Soprano’s tough childhood friend Silvio Dante. Before the release of his memoir, however, the artist explained that It was his time in the music industry that really shaped his Silvio character.
In 1983, during a recording session for Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”, Van Zandt left as the E Street Band guitarist with a bandana after a fight with The Boss. That kicked off a difficult solo career that was eventually saved with a foray into acting with “The Sopranos” and “Lilyhammer.”
However, talking to him Asbury Park PressVan Zandt notes that his attitude as a member of a New Jersey street gang is what initially appealed to series creator David Chase, not only for what it would add to the on-camera dynamic, but off-camera as well.
“Yes, it’s the ensemble thing, the ensemble thing is the band thing, and that was my thing. I was decided, I’m going to turn this cast of ‘The Sopranos’ into a band, somehow, and that’s what What happened”. He explained. “Not just me, David Chase was kind of a band as it starts with him obviously. That was our main bond, that we were both guys in the band and that’s what happened in the end. ‘The Sopranos’ became in a pretty tight-knit group. “
The actor also believes that his personality as a man of the people of New Jersey also helped give “The Sopranos” some street cred, something that Chase found very appealing given his broader take on the show.
“Oh yeah, I think some of that was happening with a lot of the cast members because they all turned him down. They all turned down the show because he insisted on filming in New Jersey. They were like, ‘What are you? What’s wrong with you? There is no way that could be successful, ‘”he joked. “So you are not wrong to emphasize that connection because, for better or for worse, we were certainly New Jersey.”
The star’s comments echo those she made in a recent interview with The Associated Press in which she noted that Silvio didn’t really want to act. He was just playing a role in a larger group dynamic that he used to fall into in real life.
“Before you know it, I’m playing that role that I’ve actually played in real life,” he explained. “Somebody has to be that guy for a family or a band or anything else to work properly. It ended, very, very natural. And I think that’s why it worked so well.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.