Fellow “Sopranos” star Steve Schirripa revealed the anecdote on his “Talking Sopranos” podcast, which he co-hosts with another of the show’s alumni, Michael Imperioli, explaining that Gandolfini spent his career ducking the talk-show circuit promotional cycle for his projects. (The Hollywood Reporter notes he only ever sat for an interview with “60 Minutes.”)
For 2012’s “Killing Them Softly,” distributed by The Weinstein Co., Gandolfini — who starred alongside Brad Pitt as a past-his-prime hitman — was proceeding with his customary lack of promotion, which rankled Weinstein, who wanted his lead to put in an appearance on David Letterman’s late-night show.
Schirripa: “He said, ‘Harvey Weinstein keeps calling, he wants me to do Letterman and I said no.’ And he got f–king nasty with Jim. And Jim said, ‘I will beat the f–k out of Harvey Weinstein! He f–king calls me again, I will beat the f–k out of him! For the money he paid me, I’m not f–king doing it!’ Swear to God. And this is before all the Harvey Weinstein s–t when he was still king s–t.”
Gandolfini revealed in a Wall Street Journal piece promoting “Killing Them Softly” that he’d turned down the role multiple times while being courted by director Andrew Dominik. The actor died in 2013.