The Many Saints of Newark brings back several classic cast members from the hit HBO series The Sopranos, showcasing their younger years as many of the show’s status quo elements are established. There’s one member of the movie’s cast, however, who has some fans puzzled as to where he comes from.
Harold McBrayer is a central character in The Many Saints of Newark, but fans of The Sopranos don’t seem to recognize him. This is despite how pivotal he is in the movie’s narrative, namely in regards to protagonist Dickie Moltisanti. Here’s what the character’s role is and if he showed up during the events of The Sopranos.
Who Is Harold In The Many Saints Of Newark?
Harold McBrayer, played by Leslie Odom, Jr., is introduced early in the movie as a mere numbers runner for the film’s protagonist Dickie Moltisanti. This seemingly unlikely interracial “alliance” of sorts becomes tested in the turbulent ’60s, with Harold becoming more of a participant in the racially motivated riots of the time. Despite these events, Dickie helps Harold move out of town temporarily when the heat comes down on him after a murder.
When Harold returns to Newark, however, he starts his own Black crew instead of being Dickie’s patsy any longer. To add insult to injury, Dickie later discovers that Giuseppina, his dead father’s widow and his current mistress, slept with Harold after a fight with Dickie. These events lead to several altercations between Dickie and Harold’s crew, though Dickie’s death at the film’s end was the result of another’s machinations.
Is Harold In The Sopranos?
Harold McBrayer is not seen or even mentioned in The Sopranos, being created entirely for The Many Saints of Newark. If anything, he’s more of a supporting character/antagonist for Dickie than a truly fleshed-out figure, with even his participation in Civil Rights riots going underdeveloped. This is a recurring element throughout The Many Saints of Newark, as characters whom audiences would think would be central are somewhat underutilized.
Being a retroactive character that’s never mentioned by the time of The Sopranos showcases that Harold and his crew were ultimately easily beaten and forgotten. Even characters like Paulie, Junior and Silvio, who would have been around and dealt with Harold’s crew, fail to ever mention a former numbers runner of Dickie’s causing too much trouble. In other words, the relatively minor role in The Many Saints of Newark is reflective of Harold’s role in the Sopranos universe at large.