James Gandolfini’s memorial service was held in New York City on Thursday and “Sopranos” co-star and friend Joe Pantoliano spoke to Access Hollywood about remembering the late actor.
“It was a beautiful Mass. The priest that held the Mass knew Jimmy. The way Jimmy’s friends spoke about him… they said things that made me feel less alone,” Joe, who co-starred with James for four seasons as Ralph Cifaretto on the HBO series, told Access.
Joe – who was one of the many “Sopranos” cast and crew members on hand at the memorial — hopes the public remembers the actor for more than his award-winning Tony Soprano role.
“I want the fans of that show to remember him as an actor and as a father and a man who had a dream. He wanted to be an actor… so that he could give of himself through the characters he played and that’s what he should be remember for,” he continued.
Adding, “Jimmy said, if you would have taken all of the psychiatrist scenes (with Lorraine Bracco) out of that show you wouldn’t have liked Tony, you would hate Tony, because his struggles were our struggles.”
Joe also shared what he’ll remember most about the actor, who died earlier this month in Rome while on vacation with his 13-year-old son.
“How much he laughed. How generous he was,” he told Access. “I always felt so stingy around him. I always wanted to give more of myself.”