James Gandolfini may have been known for playing tough guys like Tony Soprano, but he was nothing like that in real life.
In fact, he was much more like Albert, the divorced dad he plays in Enough Said, the upcoming romantic comedy that was one of the late actor's last movies.
"A very thoughtful guy, very dear, earnest and very self-effacing all the time and doubting all the time about himself," Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays his massage therapist love interest in the Nicole Holofocener-directed film, told me yesterday at the Toronto Film Festival. "It was amazing actually, so not like a mafia boss."
And Gandolfini wasn't that comfortable playing a romantic lead.
"I think he was nervous," Louis-Dreyfus said. "I think he felt a little a bit nervous about opening up."
But, he had nothing to worry about. The former Seinfeld star gushed that the big bear of a guy was "crazy good-looking" and "sexy."
Even if there were moments in the film that his weight was the punch line.
"Sometimes we cringed," Holofocener said. "But he would have been the first person to make fun of his own weight…Sometimes we felt like, 'oh can we really say this?' But he was game. He knew what he looked like. If anything we had to convince him how attractive he was."
Gandolfini died at age 51 after suffering a heart attack in Italy in June.
A sweet and vey funny flick, Enough Said proves Gandolfini could have had a much more diverse career on the big screen than many ever could have imagined.
Louis-Dreyfus said, "It's good that it's part of his legacy."