Eerie GQ Story Explores Gandolfini's Darker Side
Book excerpt reveals time he disappeared from 'Sopranos'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2013 10:19 AM CDT
This undated publicity photo, released by HBO, shows actor James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano.   (AP Photo/HBO, Barry Wetcher, File)

(Newser) – A GQ story that was already on newsstands when James Gandolfini died is rattling: Titled "The Night Tony Soprano Disappeared," it takes a close look at Gandolfini's darker side, from his struggles with drugs and alcohol to his intense, often difficult, and sometimes even self-punishing behavior while on set. The story, an excerpt from Brett Martin's new book, Difficult Men, particularly focuses on a January 2002 incident when Gandolfini simply didn't show up to shoot the final appearance of a Sopranos character.

Cast and crew waited for days, with some fearing the worst. Upon hearing the beginnings of a news report—"Sad news from Hollywood today..."—Sopranos executive producer Terence Winter recalls that his first thought was, "Holy s---! He's dead." But Gandolfini surfaced on the fourth day, after wandering into a Brooklyn beauty salon to use the phone. He called the show's production office and asked for a car to be sent to bring him home. The article does not reveal where he had been during the intervening days. Click to read the full story.