HomeArts & EntertainmentTV & ShowbizJames Gandolfini took a fired Sopranos writer out for dinner

James Gandolfini took a fired Sopranos writer out for dinner

James Gandolfini once took a Sopranos writer out for dinner on the day he was fired.

Todd Kessler, who went on to create the shows Damages and Bloodline, was fired from The Sopranos by showrunner David Chase after the end of season three.

Speaking to series stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa for their book Woke Up This Morning, which details the history of the show, Kessler said Gandolfini comforted him after being let go: “Jim called me up after he finished work that day. He knew what had happened, and he said, ‘I’m taking you out.’”

Kessler said Gandolfini took him to a restaurant in New York and the late actor would introduce him as a writer on the show even though he had just been fired.

In response, Kessler said: “I shrunk, I was so embarrassed. But they didn’t care. And we talked a little bit, they laughed, and then Jim said to me — and it was really one of those moments that will forever stick with me of Jim — he said: ‘You do not shrink. You have nothing to hang your head about.’”

Kessler also recalled Gandolfini telling him: “You hold your head high and know that you did great work.”

‘It’s about the emptiness of the American Dream’: Steve Schirripa, Michael Imperioli and James Gandolfini in ‘The Sopranos’


Kessler was nominated for an Emmy for co-writing Funhouse, the finale of season two of The Sopranos with Chase.

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