It’s still a matter of debate over a decade later if the series finale of The Sopranos ended with the lead character, James Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano, being killed or not. The abrupt cut to black during Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” caused a volcanic eruption of angry reactions to the ending but has since became the subject of intense scrutiny over the meaning and the alleged implications of it all. If one actor had their way though, it would have been apparent and obvious, as Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin reveals he once asked the producers of the series to give him the honor of killing Tony Soprano.
Speaking on the Talking Sopranos podcast with series stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, Baldwin revealed his insane request and how it was quickly denied, saying (via ScreenRant): “I called up whoever it was, I forget, and I said tell them, when it’s time to kill Jimmy [Gandolfini]…tell them — this was early, before you get to the end — there’s only one man in this business who should come in, whack Jimmy, and ride off with Edie [Falco], and I am that man. I am the guy who needs to blow Jimmy away and take Edie, who I’m madly in love with, away. And they were like, ‘Sure, great, we’ll add your name to the list of all the Irish actors who think that they should be on ‘The Sopranos’.”
Naturally Baldwin’s suggestion that he be the one to kill Tony Soprano was partially in jest, but seemingly received like the thud of Little Paulie being pushed out of a window by Christopher. Had Baldwin ever been recruited to appear in the series though he would have joined an all-star roster of guest stars that appeared in the Emmy winning HBO series which included the likes of a young Paul Dano, Will Arnett, Cristin Milioti, Robert Patrick, Steve Buscemi, and even Jon Favreau (as himself).
It’s not like Alec Baldwin missed out tremendously by not having his idea taken up by the powers that be behind The Sopranos, at the time the series was on the air he was guest hosting on Saturday Night Live and appearing on The Simpsons, and in the least-Sopranos like acting gig possible, narrating Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends. To that end, Baldwin remained a fan of the show even though he didn’t get asked to appear, telling the hosts of the podcast:
“Great acting to me is like music, and everybody’s got to be playing off the same sheet music. And [creator, David] Chase, of course, is this legendary writer. You get a couple seasons into the show and you’ve got the best actors on TV who are all jamming the same tune. They’re all servicing the same story. Nobody’s off here doing their own thing, everybody fits together in a really beautiful way — and I love that.”
All of The Sopranos is now streaming on HBO Max.