40 Crazy Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of The Sopranos
Van Zandt’s character was created for him
When Chase wanted to get Van Zandt on as part of The Sopranos, he actually envisioned him as playing Tony because of his perfect gangster look. The network, though, wasn’t so keen on having a non-actor lead the series. Van Zandt agreed and came to the realization that he didn’t want to steal a role from a more established actor, anyways. So they created a role for him! When Chase came to Van Zandt saying he would create a role specifically, it was Van Zandt who said he had written a treatment about a retired hitman named Silvio Dante. The rest is history!