*Leslie Odom Jr. is set to star as Harold McBrayer in the upcoming prequel to “The Sopranos” titled “The Many Saints of Newark,” and he says the film shows the truth about racism.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Leslie said: “We’ve had years of watching Mob stories malign us in that way. So I’ve learned to look past that, if it’s [about] the truth of the meaning. The thing about art is to show how people are acting in private, to show private moments publicly. While they may be hurtful or lacerating or surprising, that’s the point of it. Anytime Scorsese does it, or David did it, I knew I was in the hands of someone thoughtful, someone who was showing me a truth. It was my choice if I would continue to look at this truth. I knew I could trust the creative; I’ve seen that throughout.”
The “Hamilton” star, 40, said his audition for the role was so super-secret that he didn’t know what he was trying out for.
“I thought, ‘That’s gonna be way cool for Michael B. Jordan to do,’ or some movie star to do. It’s taken me a second to believe in myself in this medium.” — #TheManySaintsofNewark star Leslie Odom Jr. on hearing a ‘Sopranos’ film was in the works.https://t.co/wJkTc37Sed pic.twitter.com/sousc59elc
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) September 4, 2021
He said: “I’d heard that the film was happening. I wasn’t up for it in the original rounds of auditions. But there came a point where they needed someone quickly, and I got the call. I don’t even know that I knew I was auditioning for the ‘Sopranos’ [movie]. They keep things very tight to the vest. They’re like the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). They don’t send you a script, don’t send you character names, scenarios are changed. You have to make some choices as an actor. You take what you see, and you start inventing. I got a call that they liked the tape that I made, but they had some notes for me. I taped again, then they wanted me to tape again with more notes. And I said, ‘Guys, I don’t mind taping again, but you’ve got to send me a script. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Then I got on the phone with [director] Alan [Taylor], and he helped clear up all of my questions.”
On Wednesday, Warner Bros. debuted a new trailer for the Sopranos prequel movie which gave fans a closer glimpse at the creation and rise of Tony Soprano. Watch it via the YouTube clip below.
The film also stars Jon Bernthal, Billy Magnussen, Michela De Rossi, John Magaro and Vera Farmiga.
The role of Tony Soprano in the original HBO Series was played by James Gandolfini. His son Michael portrays the younger version of Tony in the film.
James died of a heart attack at the age of 51 in 2013.
Speaking of his father’s role as Tony, Michael told WSJ Magazine, “My dad has this beautiful vulnerability on the inside of Tony and this aggression on the outside. David’s writing here kind of flipped that. I was like, All right. What if I make the vulnerability the surface and the rage slowly grows in him, right? Because of his parents. Then it was just about that.”
“The Many Saints of Newark” will be in theaters and on HBO Max on Oct. 1.