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Video:The Other James Gandolfini: "Sopranos" Actor Remembered for Support of Injured Vets, Community Media


Offbeat  (tags: unusual, society, interesting, humans, ethics, culture, americans, arts, goodnews, philanthropy, safety, politics )

JL
- 295 days ago - democracynow.org
While coverage of his death has focused mainly on his acting career, little has been mentioned about the more political side of his work.



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JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 7:31 am
TRANSCRIPT

James Gandolfini, the celebrated actor best known for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit TV series, "The Sopranos," died Wednesday at the age of 51. While coverage of his death has focused mainly on his acting career, little has been mentioned about the more political side of his work. In New York City, he was a beloved figure not only because of his acting on the stage and screen, but also because of his major support for community media and producing documentaries critical of war. In 2010, he produced the HBO film "Wartorn: 1861-2010" about post-traumatic stress disorder from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also conducted a series of in-depth interviews with U.S. soldiers wounded in the Iraq War for a 2007 HBO film, "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq." We speak to the films’ co-directors, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: We end today’s show with a look at a lesser-known side of a well-known actor James Gandolfini. Celebrated for his role as mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit TV series, "The Sopranos," he died Wednesday the age of 51. He was vacationing with his family in Italy when he died of a possible heart attack. The coverage of his death has focused mainly on his portrayal as Tony Soprano, a role that earned him three Emmys. He’s also been recognized for his roles in films including, Get Shorty, Killing them Softly, and Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In a statement, Sopranos creator, David Chase, called James Gandolfini "One of the greatest actors of this or any time."

AMY GOODMAN: But, the news coverage has mentioned little about the more political side of James Gandolfini’s work. In New York City he was a beloved figure not only because of his acting on the stage and screen, but also because of his major support for community media. And while his fictional roles have received wide acclaim, he has received less attention for his leading roles in two documentaries about the ravages of war on U.S. soldiers. In 2010 he produced the HBO film, "Wartorn: 1861-2010" about post-traumatic stress disorder from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan. He also conducted a series of in-depth interviews with U.S. soldiers wounded in the Iraq war for 2007 HBO film called, "Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq." the film centers on the idea that the soldiers remember two key dates in their lives — their birthday and they’re alive day, the day when they narrowly escaped a violent death. This is the trailer for the film.

JAMES GANDOLFINI: Mike, I’m right in front of you, it’s Jim Gandolfini.

SOLDIER: Hi, how you doing, Sir?

JAMES GANDOLFINI: How are you? It’s good to see you again.

SOLDIER: Great. How you doing?

JAMES GANDOLFINI: Why did you join the Army?

SOLDIER: I wanted to go and protect the nation and defend it protect it and punish those who seek to destroy it.

JAMES GANDOLFINI: Everyone I’ve talked to know the exact date when they’ve been hit.

SOLDIER: It was one of those nights in the desert. I will never forget it.

SOLDIER: I had my left hand on the steering wheel. I was smoking and then the bomb went off.

SOLDIER: All I heard was screaming and everything went black.
This message was sent by Nascent Films, Tomas Young - Iraq War Vet/Anti-War Activist: Our Pledge to You
 

Kit B. (277)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:11 am

I knew about his interests beyond acting, and he appeared to be a good human being. When all is said, what else can we hope for but to be remembered as being a good human being?

I did most definitely enjoy his acting, even before Tony Soprano.
 

Jo S. (456)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:13 am
He will be sorely missed by many, RIP, James.
Noted & shared.
Thanks JL
 

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:18 am
What an amazing and inspiring man! I am so glad you posted this JL. He needs to be recognized and remembered for his selflessness and his contributions to shedding light on the hell that our brave men and women go thru, who give so much, for far too many, their lives, to our country so that we may enjoy the freedoms and security we take for granted. I think we lost a hero. May he R.I.P. forever and may all of those whose lives he touched feel a sense of peace. Definitely twittered, fb and google shared. Many green stars to you JL.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:19 am
You are welcome Joanne.
You cannot currently send a star to Kit or Joanne because you have done so within the last day.
 

Ingrid A. (532)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 8:31 am
Awesome. RIP hero.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 9:08 am
Yes Tamara--and his documentaries are well worth watching. Thank you.You cannot currently send a star to Tamara because you have done so within the last day.
 

Mike H. (213)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 9:09 am
He was also a pit bull advocate. His last movie will be released next year co starring a pit bull. It is called "Animal Rescue"
 

Arielle S. (313)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 9:28 am
Sometimes it's the quiet ones that surprise you....I always liked him - now I have many reasons.
 

Michael Kirkby (80)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 9:52 am
This is the first I've heard about his activity outside of acting. Interesting...
 

Terry V. (30)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 10:28 am
Thank you
 

Jane Williams (165)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 10:49 am
Great man.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 10:57 am
You are welcome Terry.
You cannot currently send a star to Michael or Jane because you have done so within the last day.
 

Allan Yorkowitz (461)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 11:06 am
Having never watched The Sopranos, I cannot express my sympathy as most will/ have done. For me. he's a Jersey boy who made good.-RIP
 

Cynthia B. (256)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 3:04 pm
RIP as you well will for your contribution and statement making films/documentaries. It's a shame that more wasn't said of his greatness in his contributions
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 3:31 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Cynthia because you have done so within the last day.
 

Zee Kallah (39)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 4:36 pm
I never knew of him until the news was as full of him as if he had been president.
 

JL A. (269)
Thursday June 27, 2013, 5:04 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last day.
 

Robert O. (12)
Friday June 28, 2013, 10:41 pm
Whenever I thought of him the first thing that came to mind was his character on the Sopranos, but he was such an unassuming, humble guy in real life and I never knew he did so much for so many people and causes. As cliché as it sounds, the world's loss is heaven's gain.
Thanks JL.
 

JL A. (269)
Friday June 28, 2013, 10:46 pm
You are welcome Robert. You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last day.
 

Julie F. (30)
Sunday June 30, 2013, 8:15 am
I didn't know.
 
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