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Sopranos prequel actor Leslie Odom Jr. says he didn't know he was auditioning for the movie

Leslie Odom Jr. and Germar Terrell Gardner in The Many Saints of Newark
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Leslie Odom Jr. has revealed that he didn't know he was auditioning for The Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, and likened the process to what goes on behind the scenes in the MCU.

"I’d heard that the film was happening," Odom Jr. said in a recent interview with Rolling Stone. I wasn’t up for it in the original rounds of auditions. But there came a point where they needed someone quickly, and I got the call. I don’t even know that I knew I was auditioning for the Sopranos [movie]. They keep things very tight to the vest. They’re like the MCU. They don’t send you a script, don’t send you character names, scenarios are changed. You have to make some choices as an actor. You take what you see, and you start inventing."

He added: "I got a call that they liked the tape that I made, but they had some notes for me. I taped again, then they wanted me to tape again with more notes. And I said, 'Guys, I don’t mind taping again, but you’ve got to send me a script. I don’t know what I’m doing.' Then I got on the phone with [director] Alan [Taylor], and he helped clear up all of my questions."

The Many Saints of Newark also stars Michael Gandolfini, Jon Bernthal, Ray Liotta, and Vera Farmiga and follows the teenage years of Tony Soprano (Gandolfini). Odom Jr. plays Harold McBrayer, who works for crime boss Dickie Moltisanti, but the actor is best known for playing Sam Cooke in One Night in Miami and Aaron Burr in the original Broadway run of Hamilton.

While we wait for The Many Saints of Newark to arrive on the big screen and on HBO Max on October 1, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about. 

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.