While The Sopranos broke the mold on the heights that television dramas could reach, its cast members were breaking wind thanks to a deviously placed fart machine.
On a new episode of Drea De Matteo’s podcast, Gangster Goddess Broad-cast, Lorraine Bracco, who played Dr. Jennifer Melfi on the hit series, stopped by and recalled the time she pranked Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini, during one of their iconic therapy scenes. Thanks to the help of a crew member from set design, Bracco had a remote fart machine taped underneath her chair and immediately got to work priming an unsuspecting Gandolfini for the gag.
“I said to Jimmy, ‘Listen, I don’t feel good, I don’t know what I ate, I’m sweating,'” she said. “So I set it up — my stomach is killing me, the whole thing. Then with Marchetti, I would [clench up], and he would press the button.”
Eventually, Gandolfini started to suspect something was up, but the clever placement of the fart machine won out. “So Jimmy finally said, ‘You’re f—ing around with me,’ and he grabs me and he takes my chair and he lifts up the cushion — but there’s nothing there!”
If you’re thinking to yourself, wait a minute, there’s another The Sopranos cast member doing a podcast? De Matteo revealed back in May that she was encouraged to start one by Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, who’ve found success with Talking Sopranos. Via Deadline:
They worked me on the whole idea and so I went back and watched the show. And Jesus Christ, it was good. The show that we were originally looking to do was a little more of a psychological thing, what broke you, and how did you rise from the ashes? That was our original premise for a podcast, because my friends call me the can opener. So I’ll just get into anything and pull everything out of your chest, you know? I didn’t know if I could do a re-watch, and what it feels like more is a re-late, where we could take this series, tear apart every theme, every character trait, every disorder, and apply it to many things that are still happening today, to every psychological thing that we all go through, to relationships, family, everything.
Well, there’s certainly one thing we can agree on: The set of The Sopranos sounds like it was a real gas.