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DreaDeMatteo1930 karma

Oh man.

I mean, I wasn't on set with him as often as the other actors were, but I did have my time with him when he and i were cultivating somewhat of a relationship and an attraction. And I think that at this stage of the game, deborah lin gandolfini won't be mad at me for saying this - I would have to say that he might have been the sexiest actor that i've ever had a chance to work with in a love scene capacity. Because he intimidated the SHIT out of me with those eyes. But I will share one other story of something that he did that's an example of the kind of person that he is and the kind of mark that he left behind for all of us.

Aside from being an amazing, amazing actor, he was the most generous and kindest soul, ever.

When all of us made our deals with HBO, none of the actors were included in the DVD sales for the show. And when he found out about that, he was pretty pissed off, and he called each actor into his trailer one by one, and cut everybody a VERY big check for thousands of dollars, in the double numbers. And paid each actor a cut of the proceeds he'd gotten from the DVD sales at that time. That was completely unnecessary, but Jesus Christ, it was something I'll never forget, there aren't many people who would do that.

And he bought us dinner every friday night, for the whole crew and cast. That's a lot of dinner.

He was a giant pussycat, and he took care of everyone on that show.

DreaDeMatteo1098 karma

Thank you. And by the time we got to shooting that scene, all of us had known already that my character was dying - Van Zandt was actually the most pissed off about it, he didn't want to do it, he just didn't want to do it. And I had to talk him into how awesome it was gonna be and how important it was, he didn't want to pull me out of that car, he didn't want to call me a c-word, he didn't want to shoot me in the head, but David made a specific point not to show my character actually getting the bullet to her head. I'm not sure if that was for cliffhangers reasons, but he said it was from respect for the character.

But when we shot that scene - I can say all this now, because it's years later - when we shot it, at that time, confidentiality was KING on the show, I mean, they were CRAZY over not letting any leaks get out so we shot it 2 ways - and I'm not sure with David Chase's mind if it was a matter - I heard a couple of different things. One was he wasn't positive about my demise, because we shot it and they used some of this footage, where I'm actually driving away, but you can tell in that scene that I'm daydreaming about driving away - we shot it that way as an alt, but the word on set was that we were shooting it that way to throw the crew off, and nobody knew the truth, myself included. He was so secretive and protective of his story lines that he would go as far as shooting things twice and figuring out what he wanted to do in an editing room. So I didn't even know what my outcome would be until I was watching the show. I knew I was going away, but it was, I think I was the least upset of the actors there, about it. Because I was never meant to be there as long as I was, I was a day player on the show, to have lived that life on a show and to have played a character that so many people loved, and to be the thru line of innocence on the show was a great part to play, so I was grateful- I was in support of how I died. And David Chase is a genius, and I would follow him to the gates of hell!

DreaDeMatteo976 karma

That's a good question. because the answer has changed so much over the years. If you would have asked me 9 or 10 years ago, i was really unhappy about it. I took the plunge to be on a comedy like that and to take my character of Adriana and sort of turn her into a caricature for comedy's sake, and there was so much pressure on the show at that time because of FRIENDS having ended and Sopranos having ended, i guess we were the two biggest shows at that time, and now you have the 2 working class Italians in a show together, and the pressure was through the roof, and I had never lived in California before, and my life just felt like it was turned upside down.

more than anything else, the pressure of telling jokes and comedy, I think I finally understood at that point why a lot of comedians were super depressed or committed suicide because you have to turn it on no matter how you are feeling - my great dane was dying in my dressing room the entire time we were shooting, i was giving him chemo, in Jennifer Aniston's old dressing room, and here I am supposed to be challenging the comedy of these performances, and then I'm crying over my 200 pound dog shitting all over the place, and then I had to run out there with 500 people in the audience jokes that were being rewritten constantly. Doing all that stuff, I was dying in the inside the whole time, I was like "Jesus christ, I wanted to get away to do comedy" - I was excited to come out there and have some fun at the time...

So at that time I was unhappy being there, and we were all complaining so much about the quality of the show, and our ratings weren't high enough, and all these things I'd never paid attention before being on cable tv. But when I look back, Matt and I had so much fucking fun - Andrea and Paolo and the crew, the parties that would happen that would lead us up to the top of the building every friday night, we had so much goddamn fun but at the time we all thought it was a big failure and miserable.

But because the ratings were so high for FRIENDS, we had 13 million in ratings and that seemed like a failure by comparison. But now, even on episodes where there was 9 million, we felt like were in the toilet, but if you check out ratings now, those numbers are SCORES for a sitcom. The times have changed so much and the pressure is not as great as it was, I think. So looking back on it, if I had it to do all over again, I would have been more happy where I was at, and less concerned about being stereotyped - I was a little too precious as an actor, but I was afraid to never work again, because if you play any kind of NY, NJ accented character, it's hard to break free from that, so I think I was too nervous, and if I were doing it now, I would have embraced it wholeheartedly and had a blast.

So I regret having been a squeaky wheel at that time.

DreaDeMatteo564 karma

I'm gonna be totally honest about this, because I can't lie (I don't know how, that's how come my acting is shitty sometimes, because I can't lie and if I don't believe myself... chances are I'm gonna give a shitty performance)...

The truth about my smoking: because I'm a mom, i hate to admit that I picked it up again. But i did pick it up again. I had quit when my dad had a stroke, and I begged the universe to get him better, and the thing I would give up would be the cigarettes (and it made sense, I was pregnant with my son at the time and it's not the 1970's) and my dad was dying, I would look at my dad in the face and say "When are you going to die because I am so stressed out with you dying right now?!"

Both my mother and myself unfortunately started to chip away and started smoking again. I have been a die-hard smoker since I was 12 years old. So it's my number one biggest struggle in my life, and it really, REALLY fucking brings me down that I keep picking it up and putting it down, it's my cross to bear. I have a week left of Sons of Anarchy, and the goal is to stop the day after my last day of shooting. Yeah. because I'm so embarrassed about it, i used to be embarrassed to quit because it was so tied into what I was, and now at 42 as a mom of 2 I'm so ashamed to smoke I can't tell you.

So to whoever's asking: i feel like an asshole.

DreaDeMatteo468 karma

it's so funny, on SOA I kept getting emails every week "what do you want to keep on the set now we are wrapping" - i never felt like I was entitled to keep anything monumental there because I was so in and out, but I ended up putting in an ask for one of the vests. I asked for one of the vests last minute, I didn't feel entitled enough to ask for something like that, but in the final hour I said "I'll take one of those rockers" because I'd love to hang it over my Sopranos pinball machine, which is something they sent me when I met my demise. So that was my big gift. But I kept a lot of things. I did keep the outfit that I met my demise in, I kept a lot of the crazy clothes, but the outfit that I died in was a big one for them to let go for me because all those things were going to museums or different places, and I kept my gold ADRIANA ring underlined in diamonds, I think I have a lot of my fake hair, that Christopher used to pull periodically when he'd be pissed at me, my stunt hair...