- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cast members of “The Sopranos” are outraged at one of their fellow actors, describing his recent media sweep to discuss his so-called relationship with deceased James Gandolfini as a hypocritical show of self-promotion.

Joe Gannascoli, who played the gay mobster Vito Spatafore, has conducted a series of interviews in the wake of Mr. Gandolfini’s death, speaking in glowing terms about the actor who played Tony Soprano and painting a rosy picture of the 51-year-old who died Wednesday in Rome, The New York Post reported.

Just one problem, former cast say: Mr. Gannascoli hasn’t spoken with Mr. Gandolfini in more than six years. The two weren’t that close.

Cast members say Mr. Gandolfini distanced himself from Mr. Gannascoli — whom he saw as a grandstanding, self-promoter — years ago, The Post reported.

One cast member said that “after joining the show, Joe hired his own P.R. person and would do all this press for himself, and it just became too much. Jim was very much a team player, and would only do interviews if it was to help someone in the ‘Sopranos’ family, or as a group,” The Post reported.

The cast member said, “Joe was the opposite. He kept grandstanding and it became a turnoff. … Then as soon as Jim died, Joe was grandstanding again. He wasn’t close to Jim. They probably haven’t spoken in around seven years. Some members of the cast feel like Joe is using Jimmy’s death to get his own name out there,” The Post reported.

SEE ALSO: James Gandolfini’s funeral is Thursday in NYC; actor’s body returned to U.S. from Italy

In one interview, Mr. Gannascoli told the Daily Mail that Mr. Gandolfini was “a tremendous guy” who attended his wedding.

In another, Mr. Gannascoli said he was “a part of history with Gandolfini,” The Post reported.

At the same time, Mr. Gannascoli has also admitted in interviews that he didn’t leave the show on the best terms with the cast. And he put on his Facebook page that he was not “the closest of friends” with Mr. Gandolfini.

But “he never turned his back on me,” Mr. Gannascoli said, in one interview.

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