Acclaimed 'Sopranos' actor Edie Falco visits john jay

An afternoon to remember

One of the most iconic cast members on one of the most highly acclaimed television series of all time, “The Sopranos,” walked down the aisle of John Jay High School’s auditorium, stepped up on a chair and sat on the edge of the stage.

Wearing jeans and a sweater, Edie Falco looked way more casual than her character ever did, but her voice was immediately recognizable. Carmela Soprano.

“I grew up on Long Island, in a Swedish/Italian American household,” said Falco, now a resident of Pound Ridge. “I knew exactly who this woman was,” she said, referring to Carmela, the wife of crime boss Tony Soprano. “It’s not a mafia series. It’s about a family.”

Falco spoke as an award-winning actor, and as a mom

The auditorium was filled with more than 100 seniors enrolled in the elective Social and Theoretical Criticism in the Serial Narrative—known as the Series—taught by Chandler Lewis and Amanda Adamo. “The Sopranos” is one of the series that the class studies closely. Last year, actor Vincent Pastore, who played Salvatore Bonpensiero in the series, came to speak to the students.

The students’ excitement for Falco’s March 19 visit was palpable in their silence as she spoke, and their exuberance for taking selfies with her afterwards. For ninety minutes, students asked Falco about her life and her career. She responded as an award-winning actor, and as a mom.

Thru line in her life has been acting

Falco told the students the thru line in her life has been acting.

“I almost didn’t audition for ‘The Sopranos,’” she said. “I had a job—I was in ‘Oz.’ I thought it was about singers. I could have so easily missed it. Only long after shooting it did we realize it was going to be big. The way things unfold in life has been magical.”

One student asked Falco if she feels what her character is feeling.

“You absolutely do,” she said. “I’m not truly the other person but I’m not myself. Acting is lending your body and being to that character for a while.”