'Beau Is Afraid' Star Michael Gandolfini Chose to Pursue Acting Because of His Dad

Katherine Stinson - Author
By

Apr. 12 2023, Published 7:18 p.m. ET

Michael Gandolfini
Source: Getty Images

23 year old actor Michael Gandolfini's latest acting role involves him playing the son of Beau (Joaquin Phoenix), an older man riddled with anxiety and lots of mommy issues.

Article continues below advertisement

Thankfully Michael's offscreen relationship with his own mother is far better than his onscreen dad's.

So who are Michael's parents anyways? Here's everything we know about the Beau Is Afraid star.

Michael Gandolfini
Source: Getty Images

Michael Gandolfini

Article continues below advertisement

One of Michael's parents inspired him to become an actor.

Michael has a very famous parent — his father is the late, great, actor James Gandolfini.

You know, the guy that played the Tony Soprano in The Sopranos! Michael actually chose to follow in his father's acting footsteps, despite James's wish that his son follow a different profession.

Michael revealed in an interview with Esquire (via ET Online) that when he was younger, "I dressed up as the Scarecrow almost every night, and my dad would videotape me singing...As I got older, he wanted me to play sports. I felt that burden. I wanted to make him proud. And he said, 'Don't be an actor; be a director. They have the power."

However, after the death of his father, Michael chose to follow his dream, even playing Tony in The Many Saints of Newark.

Article continues below advertisement

So who is Michael's other parent then?

Marcy Wudarski and Michael Gandolfini
Source: Getty Images

Marcy Wudarski and Michael Gandolfini

Michael's mom is film producer, Marcy Wudarski. Marcy was James's first wife, with the couple being married from 1999 to 2002. (Michael himself was born in 1999 too, for context.)

Although Marcy and James's relationship didn't end up working out in the long-run, they did stay friends until James sadly passed away from a heart attack in 2013.

Article continues below advertisement

According to a report from The Little Things, Marcy actually met James when she was working as an assistant to several Hollywood directors after her initial move to LA.

Marcy doesn't appear to have a public Instagram, but she is on Twitter. Although she rarely posts, most of her tweets involve support for Michael.

Article continues below advertisement

Michael never actually watched 'The Sopranos' until he had to play his dad's iconic role,

Michael was confident that he could play a version of his dad James onscreen in The Many Saints of Newark, but he'd never know how to play Tony unless he actually watched the show that made his dad a TV legend, per a report from The New York Times (via People Magazine.)

He had a newfound appreciation for his dad's acting craft after watching the show. Michael told The New York Times, "I have to create my own Tony from my life and still play the things that made him Tony...The only insight that I think I gained [after filming The Many Saints of Newark] was deep pride in him. I'm exhausted after three months — you did that for nine years?"

You can catch Michael in his latest project, Beau Is Afraid, when it premieres in theaters on April 21, 2023.

Advertisement
More from Distractify

Latest Celebrity News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2024 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.