SPOILER ALERT! ''The Sopranos'': Here's a look at what's in store for nine major characters during the shocking new season
Somebody’s dead. This explains why the cast of The Sopranos have congregated outside the Irvine Cozzarelli Memorial Home in Belleville, N.J., on this sunny mid-May morning. It’s 10:30 a.m., and already James Gandolfini is channeling Tony Soprano — he’s sitting in a Teamsters T-shirt as he scarfs down a calzone. Frankie Valli (also known as Mob captain Rusty Millio) mingles and poses for pictures with the crew while Tony Sirico (who plays the one and only Paulie Walnuts) waves to a group of well-wishers honking their horns as they cruise down Washington Avenue. After a ridiculously long 21-month layoff, the gang is back to shoot the first episode of season 6 (the first 12 installments return March 12 on HBO; the last eight episodes begin airing in early 2007), and while smiles and backslaps are abundant, information about the upcoming season is not. This cast is on logline lockdown, but we’ll still go for broke and dig for a spoiler or two. Soooo, guys? ”I really can’t give you anything,” says Sirico, shooting a vintage Walnuts glare, ”because I’m not a rat.” Michael Imperioli (a.k.a. Christopher Moltisanti) doesn’t offer much more: ”What can I tell you? This is our sixth season. Somebody is dead. And it’s not me!”
Here’s what we do know: Season 6 begins with both of Tony’s families — biological and financial — closely monitoring New York crime boss Johnny Sack, who remains in jail and faces trial on several RICO indictments. Guest stars this go-round include Julianna Margulies as a real estate agent, Hal Holbrook as a scientist, and Ben Kingsley as…Ben Kingsley. Oh, and the last three minutes of episode 1 offer a Sopranos shocker for the ages. See the character bios on the following pages for more teasers.