An Previously Unseen (And Mythical) Clip Of James Gandolfini As Tony Soprano In Witness Protection Has Been Unearthed

For years, fans of The Sopranos would have heated debates over the polarizing finale of the HBO drama. Did the Soprano family survive? Did Tony and Carmela stay married? Did Meadow ever learn how to parallel park? These were all questions that we never knew the answers to… until now. Kind of.

In the 2021 sports docuseries Shattered: Hope, Heartbreak and the New York Knicks it was revealed (and now relayed by Hollywood Reporter) that, in 2010, the New York Knicks hired a series of iconic New York-adjacent celebrities and actors to pursue LeBron James to join the Knicks. Among the list were James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, who reprised their roles of Tony and Carmela, three years after the series finale aired. So… they lived!

The original video was produced by Rocco Caruso, and it was recently discovered by sports podcaster Pablo Torre. In the short scene, Tony and Carmela are sitting in a New York apartment (Falco confirmed that it was Gandolfini’s) after being in the witness protection program. “Yeah, life’s good here Carm, even if we are in the witness protection program,” Tony says before the two discuss their “friend” LeBron James.

That magic happens after the 9:30 mark below.

“They thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if we could somehow start the piece with The Sopranos?’ because it had just more or less ended,” Caruso recalled to The Hollywood Reporter at the time. “And I said, ‘I know Edie … I could send her an email,’ and she said ‘Great. I’ll do it.'”

Falco was surprised that Gandolfini was on board. “We got those requests all the time back then and Jim Gandolfini, he did nothing. And somehow he agreed to this thing, which I was shocked by. I thought it was a prank when someone said Jim’s going to do it. And there we were, dressed as our characters. And I was thinking, ‘This can’t possibly be happening.’” It definitely happened, though it might not be considered “canon.”

Unfortunately, the effort was wasted as LeBron James did not end up with the Knicks. Maybe it had something to do with the other clips which featured Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Rock, Mike Bloomberg, Alex Baldwin, and Harvey Weinstein? It was… a different time. At least we got some Sopranos trivia out of it.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)