The Humble, Self-Effacing James Gandolfini: In His Own Words

As you all must know, the Emmy-winning television giant, James Gandolfini passed away yesterday, and if you’ve been on the Internet at all, you’ve no doubt seen numerous, wonderful tributes to the man. His influence on the television landscape cannot be overstated. What I continue to see in all of these accounts, however, is a description of a particularly modest man, and looking through James Gandolfini quotes over the years, you can help but get that same feeling. He was humble, self-effacing, not incredibly comfortable with fame, and didn’t quite understand why it was that he was so popular, and that modesty make him all the more endearing.

If you believe that what a man says about himself is a true measure, this quick collection of Gandolfini on Gandolfini will increase your respect for the late actor even more.

R.I.P. James Gandolfini.

— “I lost 30 pounds to play my character in The Mexican, but people don’t take to skinny mafia men, and I don’t feel right when I’m thin.”

— “Actors will say, ‘My character wouldn’t say that.’ Who said it was your character?”

— “I don’t think I will do a Mafia character again. I want to get away from the violence a little bit, because it is starting to bother me personally.”

— “I’ve been very lucky, considering what I look like and what I do.”

— “People don’t know and they shouldn’t know that you work incredibly hard as an actor.”

— “The Sopranos all came down to the writing. I wouldn’t have been on for as long as I was if the writing weren’t so good.”

— “I dabbled a little bit in acting in high school, and then I forgot about it completely. And then at about 25 I went to a class. I don’t think anybody in my family thought it was an intelligent choice. I don’t think anybody thought I’d succeed, which is understandable. I think they were just happy that I was doing something.”

— “I just don’t think I’m that interesting. I don’t think what I have to say is that interesting. To hear me go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I mean, who… cares?”

— “Standing in public in other people’s clothes, pretending to be someone else. It’s a strange way for a grown man to make a living.”

— “It is a dark, dark world. If you’re going to be in a dark world, I can’t think of any better one to be in. I still think I’m very lucky to be in it.”

— “I’m an actor… I do a job and I go home. Why are you interested in me? You don’t ask a truck driver about his job.”

— “I was voted best-looking kid in high school but, as you can see, things changed. I used to say I was a 260 pound Woody Allen. You can make that 295 pound now.”

(Header Image: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)