“The Many Saints of Newark” films at Holsten’s and in Paterson
With temperatures reaching the high 80s, Holsten’s Brookdale Confectionery was very crowded on Monday, but it wasn’t because of the ice cream.
“We were actually just trying to go to Holsten’s,” said Adel Hazan, 40, watching from the perimeter as men with walkie-talkies and earpieces milled around the exterior of the ice cream parlor on Broad Street in Bloomfield. He had come all the way from Denver and wanted nothing more than to sit in Tony Soprano’s booth.
The only problem: Holsten’s was closed to the public because of filming for “The Many Saints of Newark,” the “Sopranos” prequel movie.
But Hazan and his family did not complain.
“It may be better than us having lunch there,” said his father, Rick Canfield, of Ithaca, New York, surveying the activity on set. One of the film’s stars, Michael Gandolfini, had come out to wave to onlookers and pose for selfies, wearing long-ish hair and red pants.
Gandolfini, 20, is the son of James Gandolfini, who famously originated the role of Tony Soprano in the HBO series, which ran from 1999 to 2007. The actor, who won three Emmys for the role, died in 2013.
The younger Gandolfini plays a young Tony in the movie, which is at least partially set in 1967, during the time of the Newark riots.
On Instagram Monday, Gandolfini shared a short video from inside a car traveling to New Jersey from the Lincoln Tunnel. His father’s character took the same trip in the opening credits of the show.
“Going to set this morning was a pretty meta experience,” Gandolfini said in the post. “Thanks to everyone who came out today, big love.”
We got onto the set of ‘The Many Saints of Newark,’ the ‘Sopranos’ prequel. See the first photos.
The movie, which filmed in Newark on May 7, took the city back to 1967.
Earlier this month, the production filmed riot scenes on Branford Place in Newark. Storefronts were given a ’60s makeover and the street was littered with debris. An armored vehicle carried actors who played National Guardsmen as other background actors portrayed Newark residents.
A booth at Holsten’s, of course, is where “Sopranos” fans got their last glimpse of Tony Soprano in 2007 before the show’s infamous cut to black in the series finale.
Bloomfield locals Pete and Carol Leone recalled watching as James Gandolfini and the “Sopranos” cast filmed the last scenes of the show. This time they brought their 3-year-old granddaughter, Brooke. As Michael Gandolfini waved and held court with “Sopranos” fans, they remembered his father doing the same (and Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow Soprano, trying to park a car over and over again).
“I’m amazed it’s all this for just one scene,” said Pete, 64.
“The Many Saints of Newark” is due out from New Line Cinema Sept. 25, 2020.
Going to set this morning was a pretty meta experience 🦆 Thanks to everyone who came out today, big love ❤️
A post shared by Michael Gandolfini (@mgandolfini) on May 20, 2019 at 10:31am PDT
“I actually learned stuff when I watched the show,” Leone said, reminiscing about the fourth season of the series, when Uncle Junior educated him about the meaning of the word “abattoir," or slaughterhouse. (“I don’t suppose Tony’d come with what’s going on up at that abattoir," the character had said, referring to a conflict between Tony and Carmela.)
The side of Holsten’s had been outfitted with a vintage-looking ad for bread featuring a boy in a cowboy hat. Classic cars lined the street, including an icy green Pontiac Executive and a retro teal bus.
‘Sopranos’ film ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ brings National Guard to city for 1967 riots
Greg Contaldi, 23, eagerly watched the movements of the crew as the film’s director, Alan Taylor, presided over the set.
“I graduated 50 years after David Chase from West Essex High School,” said Contaldi, of Fairfield, remembering how when he was a student at the North Caldwell school, the “Sopranos” creator accepted his invitation to speak and judge student work at a film festival he founded.
Chase, 73, co-wrote “The Many Saints of Newark” — which has sometimes been called “Newark," the title found on the film’s clapperboards — with Lawrence Konner. The series creator appeared both on set in Bloomfield and at a second set in Paterson Monday.
Nick Raymond of Brick just happened to have a dentist appointment on Watchung Avenue when he realized the movie was filming on Broad Street. The “Sopranos” fan visited the set after he was done and waited for Chase outside Boonsong Thai Cuisine, where the producer of the film was having lunch with members of the crew.
“Good work, Mr. Chase. Good job,” Raymond, 24, said as Chase exited the restaurant.
“Thank you,” Chase replied. But Raymond had a question, too: “What’s the likelihood of a prequel series?”
“Not very good,” Chase said, scrunching up his face. When pressed again, he offered a “maybe … I don’t know.”
After the crew packed up in Bloomfield, they headed to another “Many Saints of Newark” site — 42 Market Street in Paterson, where Satriale’s Pork Store, a fixture of the original show, was partially recreated in a small lot near the intersection of Mill Street (the Kearny building used in the series was demolished in 2007).
For hours, classic cars pulled in and out of the space, which was designed to be the parking lot of the meat purveyor. At first, fake snow covered the space for a winter scene, then the “snow” was removed and the pavement was washed clean for a different season more suitable for the scorching weather. The crew clapped as an actor sporting a pompadour (is that you, Silvio?) finished his scene.
See where ‘Sopranos’ movie ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ recreated Satriale’s Pork Store
Italian actress Michela De Rossi, 26, reportedly plays an Italian immigrant in the movie. In a scene filmed at the Paterson Satriale’s set, she wore a green sleeveless dress, sunglasses and a beehive-style hairdo, appearing to hold a cigarette while standing next to a white convertible. This is her first American film.
Actor Alessandro Nivola, 46, plays Dickie Moltisanti, father to Christopher from the series. Nivola was previously on set in Newark for a night scene in which a car stops abruptly for a group of men during the 1967 unrest in the city. Other parts of the movie have been filmed in Queens, Brooklyn and New York state.
The “Many Saints of Newark” cast also includes actor Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton), New Jersey natives Ray Liotta (“GoodFellas”) and Vera Farmiga (“The Departed”), Corey Stoll (“First Man”), Billy Magnussen (“Aladdin”), John Magaro (David Chase’s “Not Fade Away”) and Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher”).
David Chase, back on the scene in Paterson, posed for a photo in front of the Satriale’s sign wearing a backwards baseball cap and sunglasses. Trailers for the movie’s cast and crew lined nearby Jersey Street.
“It’s exciting,” said Luisa Lagual, 25, who lives on Market Street and watched the crew install the “snow” on Friday. But perhaps no one is as excited about the movie as Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, she said. “He keeps posting about it every day."
“The Silk City is becoming a major attraction for motion pictures,” Sayegh shared on Facebook Monday alongside a photo of the Satriale’s sign and the hashtag #BigPicturePaterson. The “Sopranos” movie arrives as officials praise the recent return of the state’s film tax credit program.
Rudy Naia co-owns Trophy Film Cars, a picture car business in Forked River that supplied the movie rides including a 1964 black Cadillac. He said he’s certainly seen an uptick in Garden State-based jobs.
“There’s a lot more going on now,” he said.
Naia, 59, wishes “The Sopranos” had never ended. “Pine Barrens” is his favorite episode, partly for the South Jersey setting but mostly for how funny it is. He proceeded to laugh as he remembered various scenes — the ketchup packets, the scuffle over a broken universal remote.
Other movies filmed in Paterson in recent years include Jim Jarmusch’s 2016 film “Paterson,” starring Adam Driver, and, more recently, “The Irishman." The forthcoming Martin Scorsese movie, due out this fall on Netflix, stars Robert De Niro as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a union official who claimed to have killed Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, played by Al Pacino.
Yaleen DeJesus, 40, remembered seeing Pacino on set as she watched the incremental progress of the latest production. She thought about the residual effects of shutting down a section of Market Street.
“All that traffic is gonna be all day,” DeJesus said.
Across the street from the new Satriale’s, signs announced ’60s-appropriate prices for a produce market. Two background actors wearing vintage clothing rehearsed their scene by mulling the market’s offerings: 10 Florida oranges or a 5-pound bag of potatoes for 59 cents; watermelon for 8 cents a pound.
“You wanna get some fruit?” a city police officer asked a passerby. “It’s cheap!”
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