Last week actor James Gandolfini died suddenly of a major heart attack in Italy. Best known for playing Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, Gandolfini was a great character actor and by all accounts a really good guy, and Hollwood, including Sesame Street, is mourning his loss. Brad Pitt is no exception.
Pitt and Gandolfini starred together in 3 films: The Mexican (also with Julia Roberts), True Romance, and Killing them Softly. And while we don't think of Brad being BFFs with Gandolfini the same way we think of him hanging with George Clooney, the two had a good professional relationship and Gandolfini's loss hit Brad really hard.
Brad described Gandolfini as a "ferocious actor, a gentle soul and a genuinely funny man."
Brad also said:
I am fortunate to have sat across the table from him and am gutted by this loss. I wish his family strength and some semblance of peace.
Gutted by this loss. That's heavy stuff.
Gandolfini's death was a shock. It was sudden, unexpected, and came way too early. The actor was 51 years old. Brad Pitt is 49. It's likely Brad had the thought we all tend to: "That could have been me." Because really it could be any of us at any time. When someone our age dies, it gets us thinking about our own mortality. Brad and Angie recently went through Angie's mastectomy -- she doing what she felt she needed to stay around a little longer for her kids. They probably didn't think about Brad dying anytime in the near future -- he's young and in good shape. Life is fragile and we've all got to make the most of it, which is exactly what James Gandolfini seemed to do.
He had a wonderful career -- he won 3 Emmys for the Sopranos, and has a wife and beautiful children, including a 9-month old baby. While it's sad that he died so young at least he died in Italy where he had a "marvelous" day with his family. He was there to receive a film award and he was proud about that. He died living. That's the best all of us can hope for.
What do you think about Brad Pitt's words?
Image via Stephen Lovekin/Getty