James Gandolfini's last roles
June 20th, 2013
12:00 PM ET

James Gandolfini's last roles

When he died at 51 on Wednesday, James Gandolfini hadn't been a weekly fixture on our television screens for six years. But he was still very much a working actor.

In his passing, Gandolfini's left behind a number of projects, including an HBO limited series called "Criminal Justice."

The network picked up the seven-part drama in May, and according to Deadline it was to star Gandolfini as a disheveled, ambulance-chasing lawyer who takes on an overwhelming case involving a Pakistani accused of killing an Upper West Side girl.

Taking inspiration from Peter Moffat's 2008 BBC miniseries of the same name, "Criminal Justice" has Steven Zaillian directing from a script written with Richard Price. HBO has indicated that it's still too early to tell what will become of the New York-set series, which has thus far only filmed a pilot.

On the movie side, Gandolfini's legacy will continue in two films that he unfortunately didn't live to see released. According to the Los Angeles Times, the actor will appear in an upcoming Nicole Holofcener ("Friends with Money") project as a loving, gentle TV archivist whom Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character falls for.

Louis-Dreyfus, an HBO star in her own right with the comedy "Veep," tweeted Wednesday, "My heart goes out to the Gandolfini family. ... RIP Jim Gandolfini. It was an honor to work with you. U were a supreme actor & the sweetest & kindest man. U are missed."

The director of Gandolfini's other upcoming film, "Animal Rescue," had similar praises. The crime drama, which includes a pit bull rescue, a love story and a scam, stars Tom Hardy as a Brooklyn bartender who gets caught up with some Chechen thugs. Gandolfini, in the last film role he shot, portrays a mentor of sorts as the owner of the bar where Hardy's character works.

In a statement to Variety, "Animal Rescue" director Michaël Roskam remembered Gandolfini's immense talent.

“It was such an honor to work with Mr. Gandolfini and nothing but a pleasure to see him perform. He was one of the greatest," he said. "I wanted to make him proud with the movie we made together and now it will be in his loving memory."

"Animal Rescue" is expected to arrive next year.

Filed under: Celebrities

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. tone

    Such a great actor and he will be missed. Not only was he superb in The Sopranos, but just as much so in every film/play he was in.

    June 21, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tomoto heet

    shocking and sad.

    June 21, 2013 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. rip james...this is just awful.

    June 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Old History

    Its not a shock.

    June 20, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mrskool

    Ive never seen The Sopranos or seen Mr Gandolfini act but apparently he was well loved. Such a shame he died so young and left a 9 month old baby to grow up never knowing her father. Unfortunately, it looks like he didnt take care of himself enough to live long.

    June 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wallaby Will

      I knew a guy who just died at 54 from a heart attack. He was the very definition of “physically fit”: zero body fat; worked out 3-4 days a week; ran several miles every day; biked even more than he ran. This guy looked half his age.
      It’s often not a matter of whether or not someone takes care of themselves, as you so callously put it. Sometimes, it’s just your time to go – party’s over.

      R.I.P., James Gandolfini

      June 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • moon627

      WW – I don't see anything callous about Mr Skools comment ... JG obviously was not in the best physical condition. Although you are right that sometimes it is just your time to go – it helps to take care of your body as it's the only one you have !! 😉

      June 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. b0bc4t

    Will always love James Gandolfini for his wonderful works. True Romance and The Mexican were just two films with him as the hitman/strongarm, but he also did so much more, as a leader or just a bear of a figure, his devilish looks and squinty eyed smile always epitomozed gangster, power, ruthless, yet soft too.

    "When two people are so in love, but they just can't work it out, get it together.... when do you say 'enough is enough'?"

    "That's your answer.... that's not an answer... there's an answer here , but tthat's not it.... listen .... it's a trick question,....... when is enough enough for two people in love .... NEVER! .... never. (To Julia Roberts in "The Mexican" )

    Never isn't nearly enough time to quit missing him, either.

    June 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Debra Jones

    I have watched his movies and I am so sorry that we lost him. The Sopranos was the best. I am so saddened by this lose. I truly will miss seeing him around on tv.

    June 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |

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