Five Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Sopranos’

sopranos facts

If you’re anything like us, you’re totally obsessed with ‘The Sopranos.’ We’ve seen the entire show a million times, and it’s never enough. If you need some trivia to tide you over between episodes, here are five Sopranos facts you didn’t know:

1. Sopranos Casting Switcheroos

Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante, was originally considered to play the role of Tony Soprano. Drea de Matteo was not originally cast as Adrianna La Cerva, because David Chase didn’t think she looked Italian enough to play Christopher’s girlfriend. She was originally cast as a restaurant hostess, which is the role she plays in the show’s pilot. (Source: Vanity Fair)

2. The Sopranos’ House

The pilot episode of The Sopranos used a real house in North Caldwell, New Jersey as the Soprano household. When the series was picked up, the house’s interiors were duplicated at Silver Cup studios in Queens. (Source: ‘Sopranos Behind-The-Scenes’ television series)

3. The Sopranos Slang

Here are a couple of Sopranos slang terms that you might not know. The word ugatz is used several times, such as when Artie Bucco is talking about how many colleges Heather Dante got accepted to, and he says, “Heather didn’t exactly get ugatz.” Ugatz literally means cock, but it’s basically used in the same way you’d say ‘diddly squat,’ like, ‘Heather didn’t exactly get diddly squat.’

A word that you’ve heard a million times on The Sopranos is ‘gabbagool.’ This is slang pronunciation for a cured meat called capicola. In the second to last episode of the show, Tony orders a sandwich at Satriale’s. He orders it with gabagool, provolone and vinegar peppers, which sounds awesome.

4. Filming Livia Soprano

Tony’s mother, Livia, dies in the second episode of Season 2. The Sopranos staff had to write Livia out of the show because of the death of actress Nancy Marchand. Sopranos production staff had to get creative for the shots of Livia Soprano in the episode titled ‘Proshai, Livushka.’ This episode uses a composite of different kinds of footage. Some shots include previously filmed footage, while others have Nancy Marchand’s head digitally superimposed on the body of another actor.

Likewise, Livia’s dialogue comes from previous episodes. David Chase said of the scene: “Livia’s repertoire of comments was usually the same: `Outta sight, outta mind,’ `What do you care?’ `I wish the Lord would take me.’ She said these things all the time. So we built a scene using those responses to what Tony said to her.”

5. Filming ‘Pine Barrens’

This fun anecdote about the ‘Pine Barrens’ episode comes in at number five on our list of Sopranos facts. There’s a scene in which Tony laughs at Bobby Baccalieri in his hunting outfit. Bobby Baccala is played by actor Steve Schirripa, who said that Gandolfini gave him a challenge for this scene.

Gandolfini had already seen the hunting outfit prior to filming the scene, and so he asked Schirripa to find a way to really make him laugh. Schirripa asked a prop assistant to find him a dildo, saying, “He found me the biggest dildo, looked like an Italian bread.” When it came time to film the scene, Schirripa entered the room with the dildo swinging out of his pants, which caused Gandolfini to crack up laughing.

If you enjoyed this list of Sopranos facts, you’ll love the rest of our Sopranos coverage:

Listen to the best
podcast in music.

Subscribe to the Culture Creature podcast:
Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | RSS