There is a considerable difference between TV stars and movie stars. With movie stars, we pay to see them blown up to 50 times their normal size on a larger than life screen. They’re always gorgeous, flawless, and iconic. There is a disconnect between the star and the audience that never lets us truly connect to them. TV stars, on the other hand, are in your living room and being watched by your entire family. You get to know them week in and week out, and after a while they become a part of your own family. And no one expects to lose a member of their family.
That’s why James Gandolfini’s death on June 19th had such a profound effect on people. For fans of his work on The Sopranos, this wasn’t just the death of an actor, but of a man that we witnessed grow as a person and as a character over the years. His death got all of us thinking about all of the great roles we would never see him in. The leading man roles he so deserved; the quirky indie comedies where he got to prove he was more than a mobster; maybe even a trip up the aisle during the Academy Awards. There was just so much left of him for us to watch.