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James Gandolfini Was a Sexy Gentle Giant, Says Julia Louis-Dreyfus, in New Interview; James Gandolfini Will Get Special Honor at the Emmys

By Staff Writer | September 17, 2013 10:49 AM EDT

James Gandolfini was an actor’s actor. Nothing like his on-screen persona, Tony Soprano, in “The Sopranos,” James Gandolfini inhabited many diverse roles in spite of some type-casting. James Gandolfini will receive tributes at the Emmys that will come in addition to the traditional “In Memoriam” segment. one of the last films James Gandolfini shot before he died at the age of 51, “Enough Said,” is opening in theaters this weekend.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus co-stars in James Gandolfini’s last starring film. If anyone had ever told her One day you are going to play in a romantic comedy with Tony Soprano, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “would’ve said, Bullshit."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who this year surpassed Lucille Ball for most nominated person at the Emmys ever, spoke to Huffington Post about working with James Gandolfini.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who is accustomed to improvising comedy on such shows as Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld” and “Veep,” as well as SNL, said James Gandolfini grew into improvisation. “He was nervous! But as the process began to unfold, he loosened up more and more. He was a little bit nervous maybe not only about the comedy part, but I think he was really questioning whether or not he was the right guy for this part. He’d make a lot of jokes at Nicole, saying, `If you want to call George Clooney, that’s fine.’ But of course, he was perfect for the part. So the fact that he was questioning it made him that much more perfect for the part.”

Julia Louis-Dreyfus said James Gandolfini was more suited in temperament to the character he is playing in “Enough Said.” She said “The interesting thing is that James is really much more like Albert in this film than he ever was Tony Soprano. He’s not a Mafioso type. He is a very much a gentle giant of a man, as depicted in this movie.”

Louis-Dreyfus plays Eva, a divorced mom who falls for a divorced dad named Albert (James Gandolfini) -- only to find herself questioning the relationship when she gets an earful from the guy's ex-wife (Catherine Keener, in pretentious Earth Mother mode).

The interviewer commented that women who saw “Enough Said” couldn’t believe how sexy James Gandolfini is in the movie.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus said “A lot of women feel that way. I think he has a thoughtfulness, a kindness, and a powerfulness that is irresistible.”

James Gandolfini will receive a special tribute in addition to the traditional “In Memoriam” segment of the CBS broadcast of the Primetime Emmys on Sept. 22.

Edie Falco, who costarred on “The Sopranos” as Carmela, Tony’s wife, will offer the tribute for James Gandolfini.

Other stars who have passed this year will also get tributes. Michael J. Fox will pay tribute to “Family Ties” co producer Gary David Goldberg. Rob Reiner, who played Michael on “All in the Family” will honor his co-star Mareen Stapleton. Cory Monteith will be remembered by Jane Lynch of “Glee.” Robin Williams will honor his idol Jonathan Winters, who also was featured on the “Mork and Mindy” TV sitcom.

 Primetime Emmys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich said “The In Memoriam is a very emotional and evocative segment for the Emmys, or any annual awards program. These five individuals brought us such great entertainment and joy, so having their close friends share personal remembrances is something that will be very meaningful for television audiences across the country and across the generations. And, our traditional In Memoriam segment will be presented in a unique new format that will give added importance to an already much anticipated segment of the Emmy show.”

The following people will be honored in the In Memoriam Segment of the Sept. 15 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Jean Stapleton, Jonathan Winters, Leslie Frankehiemer, Grady Hunt, Billy Barnes, David Ellis, Malachi Throne, Fran Bascom, Dann Cahn, Don Payne, Stanley Karnow, Nicole De Francesco, Norval D. Crutcher, Mike Vendrell, Eileen Brennan, Carl Young, Paul Samaras, Tim Samaras, Gerry Anderson, Rosemary Welden, Barry L. Gold, Andy Williams, William Cartwright, Charles Lisanby, Hector R. Figueroa, Frank Comstock, Charles L. Campbell, Lucille Bliss, Adam Strange, Bruce Solberg, Jim Mees, Bonnie Allen, Frank Morriss, Ken Johnson, Darren Rydstrom, Jim Gross, Fred Waugh, Bret T. Mardock, Robert Linden, Charles Durning and Ray Dolby.

Andy Griffith got an extended tribute from the Academy at last year’s Emmys.

James Gandolfini’s last lead role will be seen in the film “Enough Said,” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, also stars Catherine Keener and features Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, Tavi Gevinson and Tracey Fairaway. "Enough Said" was written and directed by Nicole Holofcener ("Friends With Money").

Tagged :  world news, james gandolfini, last movie, julia louis-dreyfus, emmy honor

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