Q: I really miss the original “Sopranos” series on HBO, and I’m very excited there’s going to be a new one -- a prequel, they say. Who is going to be in it, and when will it air? -- B.V.
A: “The Many Saints of Newark” is a prequel to the critically acclaimed mob series “The Sopranos,” but it’s not a new series, it’s a movie. It’s produced and co-written by the original series creator, David Chase, who was widely criticized for his vague, anticlimactic series finale to such an acclaimed drama. Hopefully this motion picture will appease fans since a real sequel isn’t possible due to the untimely death of the show’s star, James Gandolfini.
The cast of “Many Saints” is stellar with such talent as Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton”) and Vera Farmiga (“Bates Motel”). According to Deadline.com, the film is “set in the era of the Newark riots in the 1960s, and focuses on Dickie Moltisanti (played by Alessandro Nivola), the father of Michael Imperioli’s original-series Christopher Moltisanti and a mentor to young Tony (Michael Gandolfini) as his own father, Johnny Boy, was grooming his son for organized crime prominence.” Michael Gandolfini was only 14 when his father, James, died of a heart attack, and now he’s paying tribute to him as the young Tony Soprano.
It’ll be hard to top the original classic of “The Sopranos,” which won armfuls of Emmys during its reign on HBO, but perhaps it will be another classic film up there with Martin Scorsese’s epics. It’s set to premiere Oct. 1.
Q: I saw a red-carpet photo of Sean Penn and his daughter. She looks so much like her mother, Robin Wright. Is she an actor like her parents? -- P.H.
A: At 5-feet-7-inches tall, 30-year-old Dylan Frances Penn is indeed a clone of her mother, Robin Wright, especially when Robin played Buttercup in the classic Rob Reiner film “The Princess Bride.” Like her mom, Dylan started out modeling before transitioning into acting. She currently stars in dad Sean Penn’s new film “Flag Day,” along with her brother Hopper Penn, who resembles his dad. Sean directs and stars in the movie, which according to Yahoo! News, is about “a real-life wheeler-dealer who lurches from one failed business venture to another, causing heartbreak for daughter Jennifer, who reveres him.”
Dylan accompanied her dad to the movie at the Cannes Film Festival, which earned them a standing ovation at the conclusion of their film.
Q: I was sorry to see that Yaya DaCosta’s character nurse April won’t be on “Chicago Med” anymore. I’ve been watching her on TV since she was on “America’s Next Top Model.” What’s next for her? -- C.K.
A: While the “Chicago” shows -- “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago P.D.” -- are big hits and will be back this fall, DaCosta was ready to vacate her supporting role after six years. A meatier role was quickly offered in the upcoming Lee Daniels’ Fox drama “Our Kind of People.” Daniels previously directed DaCosta in the film “The Butler” and also is the creative force behind the hit Fox series “Empire.” Carrigan was diagnosed with alopecia as a young child and was completely bald by age 30. His role on “Barry” was initially supposed to be a one and done, but after the series got picked up and the second episode wasn’t filmed until a year later, he was made a full-time cast member. Carrigan is credited with much of the character development and told DailyActor.com that he even drew some inspiration from ‘80s action star Jean-Claude Van Damme.
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