"i got the script and I remember reading it and I was laughing out loud, and I said, 'There's no way I will be able to do this,' " Gandolfini tells James Lipton in an interview for "Inside the Actors Studio" (search) scheduled to air Sunday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
"I really thought that they would pick someone, you know, different than I — [a] suave, good-lookin' mafioso guy, you know, somebody a little more [of a] leading-man type, basically," says the actor, who rarely grants interviews.
Despite initially picturing Tony Soprano as a thinner man than he, Gandolfini soon became comfortable in the role.
"How important is Tony's weight?" Lipton asked.
"Actually, it's important," answered the thickset thespian. "When I do get thin, which is not often, but when it does happen, I don't feel the same. I don't walk the same [and Tony] doesn't walk the same."
In the interview, the fun-loving actor reveals that he relieves tension on the "Sopranos" set by dancing a hula or mooning Lorraine Bracco, who plays Tony Soprano's psychiatrist, Jennifer Melfi.
The Gandolfini interview is one of several new episodes that will kick off the 11th season of "Inside the Actors Studio." The season starts with Jennifer Lopez on Oct. 10, followed by Gandolfini on the 17th, William H. Macy on Oct. 24 and comedian George Carlin on Oct. 31