Mourners—family, friends, fans, co-stars, Chris Christie—congregated at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan this morning to remember James Gandolfini, the actor who passed away last week. Per the New York Daily News's live blog, Sopranos creator David Chase formatted his eulogy as a letter to his friend, because when he tried writing something traditional "it came out like bad TV." He talked about Gandolfini's boy-like qualities: "And that was why, I think, you were a great actor: because of that boy who was inside....I think your talent is that you can take in the immensity of humankind and the universe, and shine it out to the rest of us like a huge bright light." (Update: Read Chase's eulogy in full here.)
The scene outside the cathedral looked like a heartbreaking Sopranos reunion episode: Gandolfini's cast members—on The Sopranos and in his real life—hugged and shed tears, a family together in sorrow:
Joe Pantoliano, who played Ralph Cifaretto on the show.
Steve Schirripa, who played Bobby 'Bacala' Baccalieri.
Governor Chris Christie and actor Vincent Curatola, aka Johnny Sack.
Gandolfini's son, Michael.
Aida Turturro, who played Janice Soprano.
John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco) and Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti).
Photos above via Associated Press.
Steve Buscemi, who played Tony Blundetto.
Buscemi and Imperioli.
Photos via Reuters
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