In Hollywood history, as in Hollywood movies, there are good guys and bad guys. The Sopranos star James Gandolfini was definitely one of the good guys while Harvey Weinstein, even before he was outed as a serial sexual predator, was definitely one of the bad guys. So there’s something very satisfying about hearing that Gandolfini once threatened physical violence against Weinstein.
Back in 2012, Gandolfini appeared in Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt, a film that was distributed by The Weinstein Company. Gandolfini had appeared on 60 Minutes once, but he just wasn’t comfortable doing talk shows; Sopranos regular Steve Schirripa told Joe Rogan recently that he didn’t think he was interesting enough.
That didn’t stop Weinstein from bugging Gandolfini to promote the film The Late Show with David Letterman, to the point where Gandolfini was pissed.
“[Gandolfini] said, ‘Harvey Weinstein keeps calling, he wants me to do Letterman and I said no,'” Schirripa recalled. “And he got fucking nasty with Jim. And Jim said, ‘I will beat the fuck out of Harvey Weinstein! He fucking calls me again, I will beat the fuck out of him! For the money he paid me, I’m not fucking doing it!’ Swear to God. And this is before all the Harvey Weinstein shit when he was still king shit.”
“He wasn’t like that,” fellow Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli added. “He was more like a hippie, you know. He was very laid back, He wore like Birkenstocks and a bandana on his head.”
Gandolfini was already beloved, but hearing that he held such personal animosity for one of the worst people on the planet makes us like him all the more.