The film prequel to ‘The Sopranos’ will hit theaters in Spain on November 5 under the name ‘Criminal Saints’, with the son of James Gandolfini playing a young Tony Soprano and with Alessandro Nivola, finally, with the title role. The American actor has a long history, but has had to wait until almost 50 to play the role of his life. Of course, throughout his career he has accumulated experiences that other mortals can simply dream of, such as having shared changing room with the Real Madrid footballers of the galacticos.
It all happened thanks to his role in the second part of the ‘Goool!’ Trilogy, productions that they hoped to achieve the success that he had in his day ‘Evasion or victory‘. FIFA jumped on the bandwagon seeing that it could be the perfect method to gain visibility in the United States, but everything changed when Adidas decided to break records and contributed 50 million dollars. The first installment was released in 2005 with Newcastle as the chosen club with Gavin Harris (played by Nivola) as the image of the footballer more aware of women and alcohol than from his work on green.
Despite the poor results at the box office, the second installment was already in the process of recording with Harris and his partner Muñez on the way to a Real Madrid that had players like Beckham, Figo (before his departure weeks later), Ronaldo, Zidane, Casillas or Raúl. This time, FIFA went one step further and asked that Nivola could share a dressing room with the stars, and he succeeded, during the team’s summer tour in 2005. The highest football body wanted his stay to be extended throughout the season , but the club showed its total opposition. And is that Nivola had to wake up, eat, train and dine with the Madrid players, and that ‘served’ him to win the Champions League on the screen.
A difficult race
The actor who will play Dickie Moltisanti in the film has already confessed to having cried for ten minutes when he found out that the role was his: “I’ve been through this so many times and the number of disappointments I can count on the fingers of ten hands.“, he confessed months ago to The New York Times. The film industry had not behaved well with him, and it is enough as an example that Nivola has starred in twelve films that were subsequently not released for different reasons, especially commercial ones.
And it is that his beginnings in the interpretation made think that Nivola was going to have a career of immense success. Graduated from Yale in 1994, shared the stage on Broadway with Helen Mirren before making the leap to television and later to cinema in a blockbuster that included John Travolta and Nicolas Cage in the cast: ‘Face to face’. He was only 25 years old, and that same year he would share the bill with Liv Tyler and Joaquin Phoenix in ‘The Abbott’s Secret’.
But in 1998 his dream was shattered. He starred in ‘I want you’ and ‘Target: La Roca’, and neither of them managed to raise even $ 5,000, as he points out Vanity fair. He would later participate in independent cinema and major productions with supporting roles. But another proof of his bad luck is that He got a job in the ‘Jurassic Park’ saga, but it was in the third film, the one most questioned by critics and the one that raised the least money at the box office.
Shortly after participating in ‘Goool!’ It would be seven years without going to a casting, but finally luck changed. He was chosen to participate in ‘The Great American Scam’, worked in ‘The Most Violent Year’ or ‘The Wizard of Lies’, and Now, at last, he has his big break, the one he’s been waiting for decades, with his role as Dickie, the man who invented Tony Soprano..
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Alessandro Nivola: from the Real Madrid dressing room of the Galacticos to ‘The Sopranos’