Video: ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ | Anatomy of a Scene

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“Hi. My name is Alan Taylor, and I directed ‘The Many Saints of Newark.’” “What are you reading? Oh, can’t you read a regular comic, you know, Superman, Jughead.” “It’s about some Jewish girl and a knight, and Robin Hood’s in it.” “I didn’t know they had Jews back in the Middle Ages.” “Well, the Bible.” “Anyway, your mother asked me to talk to you, so—” “What, about getting suspended from school?” “Hey, put that down.” “This scene comes early in the movie. We’re with young Tony Soprano, who’s played by William Ludwig in this part of the movie, and he’s having a conversation with his sort of uncle, Dickie Moltisanti, who’s played by Alessandro Nivola. It’s a scene where Dickie has been sort of forced into giving parental advice to young Tony. It’s not something he wants to do.” “It’s not just the gambling. It’s everything— the cherry bombs at the YMCA, letting the air out of Mrs. Russo’s tires—” “I apologized to her.” “You talk big about wanting to be on the football team in high school and you’re smoking already? Oh! You’ve got to have a better attitude.” “Tony’s dad is in prison, and Tony’s mom Livia has kind of shoved this responsibility upon Dickie to go up and try and straighten the kid out.” “I try to be good.” “I don’t think so. Try harder.” “It’s funny. I mean, the movie is full of action and shootouts and all kinds of stuff going on, lots of storylines, but this has been one of my favorite scenes. And there’s something about the scene that is so simple. It’s two guys sitting on a bed talking.” “Pinky swear.” “But it really contains the entire relationship and the entire destiny of Tony’s character.” “There.” “One time I went to Playland, I saw the cops shoot a friend of my dad’s right in the back.” “This is where he’s just beginning to stray into somewhat illegal activities, but he’s being given the worst advice in the world and the least convincing advice in the world.” “I don’t want that to happen to me.” “It won’t.” “So we sort of see how their relationship plays, and I think it comes across beautifully between these two actors. And it really ends on a heartbreaking note for me because he doesn’t really answer young Tony’s dilemma. And, in fact, at the end of the scene, young Tony is anticipating the end of the series and the end of his character.”

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