Throughout the history of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” there are a variety of contentious and downright brutal moments between characters. However, it would appear that the actors behind the series are actually a fairly tight-knit group. Indeed, in the years since “The Sopranos” ended, a number of productions have reunited prominent cast and crew members.
In 2013, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirico, and Vince Curatola all reunited for the family-friendly Nickelodeon comedy film “Nicky Deuce.” Additionally, since 2020, Imperioli and Schirripa have both hosted “the “Talking Sopranos” podcast, where the two regularly discuss each episode of the series and chat with other cast members (via YouTube). However, neither of these productions hold the record for casting the most actors from “The Sopranos.”
In 1990, nearly a decade before audiences were even introduced to Tony and friends, Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” included a shocking number of actors who later went on to work on the Emmy Award-winning HBO series.
The Sopranos and Goodfellas share 27 cast members
“Goodfellas,” which includes feature film superstars like Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, also happens to share a whopping 27 cast members with “The Sopranos” (via USA Today). These “Sopranos” actors range in prominence from Lorraine Bracco, the actress who played Tony Soprano’s long-suffering psychiatrist in all six seasons, to Paul Herman, the actor who played Peter “Beansie” Gaeta in only five episodes.
In “Goodfellas,” Bracco played Karen Hill, the dolled up mob wife of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta). Interestingly, “The Sopranos” creator David Chase initially asked Bracco to play the similar role of Tony’s wife, Carmela, a role which eventually went to Edie Falco. However, Bracco chose her role out of a wish to take on a new challenge. “I wanted to play Melfi because it was different for me and not just the mob wife,” she said (via USA Today).
Michael Imperioli, the actor who played Christopher Moltisanti in “The Sopranos,” also makes a brief, but memorable appearance in “Goodfellas” as Spider, a young bartender for the mob’s card game. After exchanging unpleasant words with Tommy (Pesci), Spider is shot and killed (via YouTube). Other actors who appear in “Goodfellas” and “The Sopranos” include Frank Vincent as the outspoken Billy Batts and New York boss Phil Leotardo, respectively; Tony Sirico as gangsters Tony Stacks and Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri; Vincent Pastore as an unnamed man rolling a coat rack and FBI snitch Salvatore Bonpensiero; and Joseph R. Gannascoli in an uncredited “Goodfellas” role and closeted LGBTQ mobster Vito Spatafore.