The cast and crew of HBO's "The Sopranos" gathered with other loved ones in New York City at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine on Thursday morning to say goodbye to the series' beloved leading man James Gandolfini, who died of a heart attack in Italy last week.
Among the attendees was "Sopranos" creator David Chase, who delivered a moving eulogy for Gandolfini, referring to the late actor as his "brother." Chase had previously described his "very complicated relationship" with Gandolfini in an interview with The Guardian. "When I say brother, I mean brother: we didn't always get along. We didn't always agree. He understood me on some level ... and I think we had a great deal in common even though we had different tastes in a lot of things, different ways of dealing with things. Another word for that would be soulmate, I guess."
Chase constructed his eulogy as a letter to Gandolfini since he "tried to write a traditional eulogy, but it came out like bad TV," he said. "So I’m writing you this letter ... But it is being done to and for an audience, so we’ll give the funny opening a try. I hope it is funny. It is to me; I know it is to you."
Read the first two paragraphs of Chase's eulogy of Gandolfini's below, and click over to HitFix to see his remarks in full.
Your family asked me to speak at your service, and I am so honored and touched. I'm also really scared, and I say that because you of all people will understand this. I'd like to run away and call in four days from now from the beauty parlor. I want to do a good job, because I love you, and because you always did a good job.
I think the deal is I'm supposed to speak about the actor/artist's work part of your life. Others will have spoken beautifully and magnificently about the other beautiful and magnificent parts of you: father, brother, friend. I guess what I was told is I'm also supposed to speak for your castmates whom you loved, for your crew that you loved so much, for the people at HBO, and Journey. I hope I can speak for all of them today and for you ...