The role the three-time Emmy winner hoped to bring to life was that of the man who kills New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), riding off into the sunset with his wife, Carmela (Edie Falco).
“I called up whoever it was…and said…there’s only one man in this business who should come in, whack Jimmy, and ride off with Edie, and I am that man,” the actor recalled, in conversation with Sopranos co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on a recent episode of their Talking Sopranos podcast. “They were like, ‘Sure, great. We’ll add your name to the list of all the Irish actors who think that they should be on The Sopranos.”
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Ultimately, Baldwin never got to make an appearance on the show, despite the fact that he knew Gandolfini well, having worked with him on films including 1996 legal thriller The Juror, and plays, including A Streetcar Named Desire. Perhaps it was just as well, because as any diehard fan of The Sopranos knows, we never see Tony die on screen, or know what happened to him, in the end. The show infamously ends with an open-ended cut to black, after Tony sits down with his family at a restaurant.
Looking back, Baldwin thinks an unexpected run-in with David Chase may have been responsible for the fact that he was never cast. He told Imperioli and Schirripa that he once encountered the Sopranos creator in an LA restaurant bathroom. There, on one particularly hot day in Southern California, he was looking to dry off his sweat-drenched suit, while running late for a meeting. “I’m holding my shirt up to the mechanical dryer, and the door opens, and….this is my introduction to David Chase,” Baldwin shared. “He goes, ‘Alec Baldwin? What the f**k are you doing, drying your shirt in the bathroom at the Four Seasons restaurant?’ And I think based on that alone, I was never cast on your show.”
Though the actor never got to check a major Sopranos turn off of his bucket list, he still describes himself as a “superfan” of the series.
For more from his appearance on Talking Sopranos, click above.