There are too many amazing Soprano lines for me to try to cherry-pick so instead I’m going to share with you an aphorism which meant a lot to me from James Gandolfini’s character ‘Mickey’ in the movie Killing Them Softly.
Now, I think we can all probably agree that Gandolfini is an actor with a breathtaking range – remember the masterful portrayal of his near namesake Gandalf the wizard in The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy? God, that would have been hilarious. God…Maybe he could play God. Godolfini. Be better than Morgan fucking Freeman….
But I digress. Though into what I cannot say for certain and from whence I know not.
Ah yes. Gandolfini’s boundless versatility allows him to inhabit almost any role. However, nothing could have prepared us for the enormity of the challenge he accepted with this picture. In this one, he strayed way out of his comfort zone by taking on the role of a morbidly obese, chain-smoking, whore-mongering, alcoholic with a face like a swollen ball bag and a body like some sort of…flesh outhouse. Seriously, how does a land mammal sustain that much mass?
But I digress again.
So anyway, in one towering scene, Mickey is in a hotel room in DC settling up with a ballsy prostitute (ballsy in the figurative sense; she doesn’t actually have balls. Or if she does, it isn’t germane to the narrative)*. This is always a delicate business but Mickey negotiates it with a certain solemn dignity. He directs her with a flourish of his meaty knuckles to a wad of crumpled bills on the nightstand (which he assures her he has counted) and when she asks whether she’ll be receiving a gratuity for services rendered, he replies:
“You want a tip, honey? I’ll give you a tip. You put the condom on with your mouth and you stop acting like your anus is a national treasure.”
I think we can all probably find some truth in that.
*Incidentally, if memory serves, this is the only female character furnished with a single line of dialogue in the entire film.