Now, the actress is starring in the prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark.
James Gandolfini

While actress Vera Farmiga is now one of the main stars of the upcoming The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark, she did actually audition for the iconic HBO Mob drama in her twenties. It just didn't go how she'd hoped it would.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Farmiga sets the scene of trying out for the role of Valentina La Paz, mistress of wiseguy Ralphie Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano).

"I remember it being very quiet in the room," she said, and then, "I remember [Sopranos creator] David Chase just staring at me. I didn't know if I killed it or they were lukewarm. I couldn't discern it." 

Vera Farmiga auditioned for the role of Valentina La Paz on 'The Sopranos,' but show creator David Chase cast Leslie Bega instead.
| Credit: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.; HBO

Chase had lived up to his reputation for being "inscrutable." The actress would realize shortly after that she did not in fact kill it.

"It just wasn't my time. Or maybe I sucked, I don't know," she said. "God, even then it was regarded as the best TV show. Getting the role, Jesus, that would have been something."

She jokes that her role as a young Livia Soprano, protagonist Tony Soprano's imperious mother, in the film The Many Saints of Newark is a "totally different kind of affair" than playing La Paz, a part that ultimately went to Leslie Bega.

Interestingly enough, the connections between the cast for the prequel film, and what could've been the cast of the show don't end there. Rolling Stone chief TV Critic Alan Sepinwall, who wrote the cover story, tweeted that Farmiga's The Many Saints of Newark costar Ray Liotta was originally asked by Chase to play Ralphie Cifaretto on The Sopranos, so they could have entered the world of what many consider the greatest TV drama of all time even sooner.

The Many Saints of Newark premieres Oct. 1 in theaters and on HBO Max.

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