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Chris Rock explains why he turned down a role on The Sopranos

Chris Rock in Spiral
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Chris Rock has revealed why he turned down offers to appear on The Sopranos.

"Sometimes you can respect something so much, you don't even want to be a part of it," Rock told The Hollywood Reporter. "Years ago, when I had my own show on HBO, it was at the height of The Sopranos, and I got a couple of offers to be on The Sopranos, and I was like, 'I like it too much, I don't want to spoil it.'" The actor appeared in multiple HBO shows in the '90s, including The Chris Rock Show. 

The Sopranos, meanwhile, ran for six seasons and eight years, and is widely regarded as one of the best TV shows of all time. Though the main series is complete, there is a prequel movie on the way, which is set to arrive this year. The role of Tony Soprano will be played by Michael Gandolfini, the son of original Tony actor James Gandolfini. A first look at the movie, which is titled The Many Saints of Newark, was recently revealed showing Michael in character.

While The Sopranos had a famously ambiguous ending, it recently surfaced thanks to Carmela Soprano actor Edie Falco that an unofficial sequel of sorts was shot with her and Gandolfini.

"We got those requests all the time back then and Gandolfini, he did nothing," Falco said. "And somehow, he agreed to this thing, which I was shocked by. I thought it was a prank when someone said he's going to do it." 

The 'sequel,' which reportedly came about thanks to The New York Knicks trying to attract LeBron James to the team, is said to have seen Tony alive and in witness protection. The short is not available to watch and has never been shown publicly.  

Alec Baldwin also recently revealed that he'd unsuccessfully attempted to nab his own role in the drama: "I called up whoever it was, I forget, and I said, 'Tell them, when it's time to kill Jimmy [Gandolfini], tell them – this was early, before you get to the end – there's only one man in this business who should come in, whack Jimmy, and ride off with Edie [Falco, who played Tony's wife, Carmela], and I am that man.'" 

The Many Saints of Newark releases this September 24, simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max in the US. Until then, check out the best Netflix shows streaming now to find something new to watch.


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I'm an experienced online writer with articles published on film, TV, and pop culture. I am currently working at GamesRadar+ as a freelance Entertainment Reporter. I previously worked on the Disney team and freelanced on CBeebies magazine with Immediate Media.