Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler has shared her experiences of working on The Sopranos, revealing that the show changed her life for the better. In fact, she interestingly admitted that this was largely down to one factor -- James Gandolfini himself. The actor played her on-screen father on the show for several years.
Speaking of her late co-star, who played Tony Soprano in the crime drama, she said:
“I’ve been very blessed to work with a lot of great people, but I’d say James Gandolfini [inspired me the most] I did an episode in the first season called ‘College’ where he took my character on the road to see a bunch of colleges, and it was my first real big episode.”
Gushing that Gandolfini was her "biggest inspiration," she also went on to divulge the big lessons he taught her as an actress, and as a human being. She revealed:
“[He taught me] that I could be part of this collaboration. That was a big lesson for me to learn, and I was very grateful for it.”
"You just felt like everything is going to be okay"
In particular, Sigler claimed that working with the late actor often had a calming effect on her, and he was always a ray of sunshine in difficult times:
“The one feeling that I always can remember about James is [that] he could walk in a room and if I didn’t even see him, I knew he was there. You just felt like everything is going to be okay.”
Yet, it appears that Gandolfini wasn't the only one to be a source of inspiration for her. Sigler bravely also revealed that the show's executives helped her battle through an eating disorder at a time of need. She admitted:
“They asked me to put on weight. They were concerned for my health, and they didn’t feel I was the picture of a girl that lived in an Italian household and ate pasta all the time. So they were big catalysts in me taking a step back and realizing the issue.”