20 Shocking Secrets About The Sopranos Revealed

It’s hard to imagine anyone else smoking Tony Soprano’s cigars but James Gandolfini, but Chase initially had someone else in mind for the iconic role: Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt.

 “Steven came on VH1, when they were inducting the Rascals into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Steven gave the speech,” Chase told Vanity Fair in 2012. “He was very, very funny and magnetic. I said to my wife, ‘That guy has got to be in the show!'”

Recalling his audition, Van Zandt described it as “a very funny moment” when he was in the waiting room with none other than Gandolfini. 

“Now, I don’t know if he was there because HBO had decided they were not going to cast me because I’d never acted before—which is what they ended up telling David—or whether Jimmy was there for another part,” Van Zandt told the publication. “I never asked him.”

Van Zandt, of course, went on to star as Silvio Dante on the series for its entire run.

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