James Gandolfini is gone, but not forgotten. GQ magazine has composed a touching cover and feature, honoring the late actor who died in June 2013.
Gandolfini’s longtime friend, German watchmaker Michael Kobold, shared stories about the actor and his own feelings about Gandolfini as well.
Check out what he had to say about Gandolfini below.
On James’ mercurial temperament:
“I’d been scanning ‘The New York Times’ for hours when Jim shuffled out, grumbled at me, and sat down to red the ‘New York Post.’ For five minutes or so, we had a one-sided conversation… Jim’s grip on the paper began to tighten until he was practically crumpling it. ‘So help me God, if you ask me one more f***ing question, I will get you deported, you f***ing German!’ he yelled. Jim’s temper could run hot, but it also passed quickly. Ten minutes later, after some coffee, he smiled at me. ‘I’m sorry, Kobold, but you can be so f***ing annoying in the morning.’ ‘I’ll try to be less happy tomorrow,’ I told him. ‘No, don’t do that. Just don’t direct your happiness towards me.'”
On Michael’s difficulties to bring James’ body home from Italy:
“The initial news in Rome wasn’t good: Paticia Hill, the U.S. vice consul at the embassy told me it would be as long as a week before the body could be cleared. Jim had passed on Wednesday night and was already at the morgue by the time I got to Rome the next morning. After an autopsy, he would be held until we could get his remains repatriated. But in the near term, progress was looking grim.”
On Michael addressing James’ death:
“The minute that door opened, it was like stepping into a movie scene: There were probably ten TV cameras, twenty still photographers, and so many journalists that every seat in the small meeting room was filled. The spillover was standing along the walls. If you watch the tape, I seem cold and wooden – the prototypical German! – but I was basically frozen with fear, capable only of reading a prepared statement. ‘Today, we received the results of the autopsy, which stated he died of a heart attack, of natural causes.’ I read. ‘Once we have the clearance, we will put him on a flight to America. It is up to the Italian authorities to decide how quickly.’ I took no questions. And then I had to do it again the next day and the one after.”