Lin-Manuel Miranda recalls how James Gandolfini calmed his nerves on set of The Sopranos

It’s hard to imagine Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda being afraid of anything these days. But back when he landed his first acting gig on The Sopranos, he remembers being “scared shitless.” 

In 2007, the Pulitzer Prize winner made a brief appearance as a hotel employee in ‘Remember When’, the fifteenth episode of the acclaimed crime drama series’ sixth season.

Opening up about his first credited screen role in Judd Apatow’s new book Sicker in the Head: More Conversations About Life and Comedy, Miranda recalled how late actor James Gandolfini – who played protagonist Tony Soprano – would help calm his nerves.

“My one story about Gandolfini was that he stayed and did his sides even though it was the end of the night,” he revealed. “He had no need to do that. He stayed and did the scene for the scared shitless Puerto Rican kid in the bellhop outfit.”

The Mary Poppins Returns star also said that Gandolfini would always be out on set, and never hid away in his trailer: “He was just out, and people would talk to him.”

Miranda also got candid about his beginnings as a struggling actor, and revealed that The Sopranos was the only thing he booked despite going to a ton of voiceover and acting auditions in his late 20s. 

“I’m so green you can see me look down at my mark,” he laughs. “Watch it if you get a chance, because now people are like, ‘Lin-Manuel’s cameo on The Sopranos!’ It wasn’t a cameo. I wasn’t even in the union yet.”

After you’re done rewatching ‘Remember When’ in the hopes of spotting Miranda, check out our roundup of the best TV shows of all time – which sees The Sopranos take the top spot – for some binge-watch inspiration.

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