La estrella apareció en 79 of the show’s 86 episodes, but fans nearly saw him playing an entirely different role: Tony Soprano, the lead.
Van Zandt recently spoke with Fox News about his memoir, “Unrequited Infatuations,” in which he reflects on his life and career as a musician, actor and activist. During his chat, he reminisced on the casting process of “Los Sopranos.”
“Como resulta, [creating Silvio Dante] was collaborative because ['Los Sopranos’ creator David Chase] cast me as Tony and HBO said, ‘Are you out of your f—ing mind? This is the most expensive show we’ll ever do, we can’t have a guy that never acted before,” the musician recalled.
The star added: “Asi que, wiser heads prevailed, thankfully, and one of the greatest actors ever, [Jaime] Gandolfini, got the gig.”
Van Zandt would go on to win a pair of Screen Actors Guild Awards for his work on the show as part of its ensemble cast. He’s also worked on a handful of other high-profile projects in the years since, incluso “Lilyhammer,” “The Christmas Chronicles” y “The Irishman.”
The book covers more than just his time on “The Sopranos.”
“It starts off as a music book, a music guy’s story,” Van Zandt explained. “The second half of the book is an entirely different story.”
Included are stories of his time with Bruce Springsteen as a member of the E Street Band before the act made it big.
“We had the residency in that we’d park at the Stone Pony, which was really the high point of pre-making it,” he recalled about a nightclub in Asbury Park, New Jersey, that the band help make famous.
His politically charged solo career is also covered.
“I had been reading a lot about politics at that point and became obsessed with politics, De Verdad,” Van Zandt remembered. “yo dije, ‘Well I’ll be the political guy.'”
General, the book was cathartic to write.
“It was fun to kind of remember those things and go through them, and see why you did certain things – the mistakes,” the musician said.
Fox News’ Ashley Dvorkin contributed to this report.