The Sopranos Smoke Cigars - Cigar Life Guy

The Sopranos Smoke Cigars

 In Celebrities, Cigar History, Joy of Cigars

We are truly blessed today with what television has to offer. The amount of content available is astounding. Much of our focus, however, is on the godfather of the television show, “The Sopranos.” It is an unrestricted look into the life of a dysfunctional family of New Jersey mobsters. It’s gritty and realistic, and captivating. In fact, you might even call it must-watch television. Cigars factored very heavily into the series, both on and off the set. So, considering the Sopranos smoke cigars, that makes the show a great topic for Cigar Life Guy readers.

The Sopranos Smoke Cigars Like a Boss

James Gandolfini played the iconic role: the cigar-loving Tony Soprano. The role was easy for the late Gandolfini. He was also a long-time cigar aficionado. In fact, he often smoked three to four cigars weekly. He loved the ability to relax for 45 minutes without a care in the world. Regarding cigars and cigarettes, he said, “Cigarette smokers try to get through the smoke as quickly as possible, whereas cigar smokers let the taste and experience linger.”

Wiseguys Know What they Are Doing

The opening credits feature Tony Soprano driving through the Lincoln Tunnel with a thumping baseline and a cigar blazing. Vinny Pastore, who played Big Pussy was often seen smoking intimidating-sized cigars as well. He said, “It’s more than a prop. Its symbolism. People who smoke cigarettes are nervous. A cigar is a personal thing. An extension of character.”

According to the show’s creator, David Chase, cigars weren’t accidental. They were an intended prop. Cigar smoking invokes power and a level of authority. The cigars, like authority, were wielded with a heavy hand.

From Boss to V.P.

Jim Gandolfini smoked a cigar a couple of times a week. Yet, Joe Pantoliano’s habit is more voracious. He smokes a couple of sticks a day. Pantoliano was an early investor and vice president of L.A.’s Grand Havana Room, a prestigious smoking lounge. He jokes that he’s a bit of a compulsive guy; when he gets into something, he really takes it to heart. He loves everything about cigars, including all of the accessories. He also praises his amazingly tolerant wife who lets him smoke anywhere he wants around the house.

Pantoliano played in many other movies such as” Bad Boys” and “Steal Big, Steal Little.” For each show, he went to great effort to acquire a supply of good sticks that he could smoke onscreen. He even made advance calls to cigar companies to make his requests. Both Davidoff and Fuente quickly obliged. His relationship is so close with the Fuente family, that they sent him a special anniversary release cigar for his wedding.

Life Imitates Art

Both Gandolfini and Pantoliano have expressed a love of Cuban cigars. Pantoliano loves the Bolivar Gigante, a massive cigar clearly fit for a king. Or at least a Mob boss. Cigar maker CAO created a line of cigars specifically in conjunction with the show.

Like the brash, showy attitude of the Sopranos, it comes in a flashy cherry red box designed to look like the trunk of a car. The cigars are designated in three sizes; Associate, Soldier, and Boss, reflecting the mobster hierarchy. Any diehard Sopranos fans will make the immediate association between a car trunk and its implications with mob life.

Away from the set, the actors all agree on the same thing; cigars, like the show, are about family. Getting together and just relaxing. You got a problem with that?


Photo credit: The Sopranos|HBO

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