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“This is kind of the final nail in the coffin”: Brad Pitt Did the Impossible by Convincing James Gandolfini to Play Yet Another Mob Role That Saved $147M Julia Roberts Movie

James Gandolfini who tragically passed away in 2013, erupting a wave of pain and tears among his fans, had been one of the most renowned actors in Hollywood. Best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos , Gandolfini often played the role of mobsters with utmost perfection, throughout his extensive career. 

Following his demise, a surprising tribute came from Brad Pitt with whom James Gandolfini shared the screen in the 2001’s The Mexican. The truth is Pitt and Gandolfini shared classic moments, during their 2001 film alongside Julia Roberts, after the Fight Club actor convinced the late actor to once again reprise the role, that best suited him.


Brad Pitt Convinced James Gandolfini For The Mexican 

Witnessing James Gandolfini’s range as a perfect mob boss, did the impossible when he convinced the late actor to appear in his and Julia Roberts’ 2001 dark comedy adventure crime film, The Mexican . Pleading him to join the cast as a gay mob hitman, Pitt convinced Gandolfini that the role of Leroy was simply made for him. 

However, after doing several projects where he appeared as a mobster, James Gandolfini almost denied the role. But he was simply “ tortured ” by Pitt until he accepted. Thus, during an interview with , Gandolfini revealed how he accepted the role by convincing himself one last time.


“He tortured me, tortured me, tortured me. Then I started thinking, ‘I’ve done a bunch of these guys and this is kind of the final nail in the coffin. This is where you are at the end.’ So maybe if I played it that way in my mind, this is the last one, then it got interesting.” 

Eventually, simply rocked the role of a gay mob hitman, Leroy in Gore Verbinski’s The Mexican, featuring Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. His appearance was later hailed by fans and was deemed a savior for the $147M project. 

James Gandolfini Saved Brad Pitt And Julia Roberts’ Movie 

Evidently, after playing the same kind of roles for more than a decade, even James Gandolfini was tired of repetition.

However, after Brad Pitt convinced him, even the late actor couldn’t reject Pitt. Thus, Gandolfini took on the role of the gay mob hitman for one last time. However, to his surprise, Gandolfini’s character was highly appreciated by fans and the actor earned praise.

Earning a 54% RT rating, The Mexican garnered mixed reviews, but its attempt at originality and James Gandolfini’s appearance was appreciated by all. The particular scene involving the late actor earned the most praise. “ The scenes between Roberts and Gandolfini make the film special. … Their dialogue scenes are the best reason to see the film

.” critics stated. 

simply wrote, “ if it had been a Pitt/Roberts two-hander, there wouldn’t have been room for Gandolfini’s wonderful character, and that would have been a shame .” He further mentioned, “ it works when Gandolfini is on screen; when he leaves, he takes the movie with him .” Few further stated, “ Gandolfini is a star on the rise. His work in The Mexican is solid .” 

Thus, in the end, despite Brad Pitt and star power, it was apparently James Gandolfini whose presence saved the $147M movie. 

The Mexican is streaming on Amazon Video. 


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