Tonight, I attended HBO's Woke Up This Morning, The Sopranos 20th anniversary reunion hosted by the IFC center. Most of the original cast attended with the exception of James Gandolfini, who passed away six years ago and Nancy Marchand, who also passed away during the shows filming.
This included: Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco, Dominic Chianese, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, Robert Iler, Jamie Lynn-Sigler, John Ventimiglia, Vincent Pastore, Federico Castelluccio, Jerry Adler, Katherine Narducci, and Annabella Sciorra.
Creator and executive producer David Chase, writers Terrance Winter and Matthew Weiner, and producer executive IIene S. Landress were also in attendance.
It was clear that the cast and crew of The Sopranos were happy to see each other again. They raved about the good times they all had making the show. What I found the most interesting was the praise and commentary for creator David Chase, who changed the lives of so many actors and actresses who got their first major role on The Sopranos.
Chase created one of the most iconic television series of all time. The Sopranos broke multiple television barriers and paved the way for many other shows that wouldn't be here if The Sopranos never aired.
What most people don't know is that The Sopranos was very close to not getting made. Chase had little faith that America would understand the dark humor and the concept of a gangster seeing a therapist. It was so unique in its own right, that Chase thought the audience for the show would be too small. Tonight, he admitted how surprised he is until this very day that The Sopranos became a massive success.
This show was very impactful on me, as an aspiring filmmaker and writer. I idolized Chase's outlook and the amount of personal feelings he put into the writing of the show. I chose this series as the basis of many projects throughout my collegiate career studying communications. I loved The Sopranos so much that I wrote an award winning essay on how The Sopranos impacted American society and the television industry.
If any of you reading this hasn't seen the series yet, get to it, because HBO has been airing episodes in honor of the 20th anniversary for at least the past two days already. I promise you won't regret your time binge watching this show.
A fun fact that was shared with audience was that Steven Van Zandt was potentially in line to play Tony Soprano. Imagine how different this iconic series could have been if that happened?