James Gandolfini’s Referred to ‘The Sopranos’ Creator as ‘Satan’ on Set


David Chase, the mastermind behind “The Sopranos,” divulged an amusing yet less-than-angelic nickname he was bestowed with on the set of the acclaimed mobster series. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Chase revealed that the show’s leading star, James Gandolfini, affectionately referred to him as “Satan” during their time filming the highly praised series.

Since its debut in 1999, “The Sopranos” has garnered widespread acclaim, earning accolades as one of the greatest TV series of all time. Across its six-season tenure, the show secured an impressive 21 Emmy Awards and received five Golden Globe nominations. Chronicling the life of Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (portrayed by Gandolfini), the series delves into his struggles balancing family life with running a criminal empire. The franchise’s newest addition is the upcoming prequel film, “The Many Saints of Newark,” where Michael Gandolfini steps into his late father’s shoes to portray a younger Tony Soprano.

While promoting “The Many Saints of Newark,” Chase reminisced about his time working on “The Sopranos” and recounted the occasionally tumultuous relationship he shared with Gandolfini. He recalled how Gandolfini would bring his son, Michael, to the set. Despite the presence of a child, the actor didn’t hesitate to playfully tease Chase.


“Yeah, he was… As a little kid. And his father used to greet me, ‘Hello, Satan,’ as we passed,” Chase shared. Gandolfini’s occasional conflicts with the creative team during “The Sopranos,” alongside his personal battles with substance abuse and inner turmoil, are no secret. However, despite these challenges, Chase and Gandolfini reunited in 2012 for Chase’s directorial debut in “Not Fade Away.” This reunion suggests that any humorous references like the “Satan” nickname were likely in good jest, indicating that there was no lingering animosity between the two.