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Nicole Holofcener: James Gandolfini Played 'Sexy,' 'Hilarious' Romantic Lead

Nicole Holofcener

Gandolfini's director in the upcoming film "Enough Said" says the actor "didn't believe" he could play a leading man, but ended up knocking the role out of the park.

This story first appeared in the July 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Jim played a love interest for Julia Louis-Dreyfus. He played a divorced dad who doted on his daughter and was crazy about Julia's character. He didn't believe he could play a romantic lead, even though everyone on the set thought he was sexy and hilarious. He was charming and self-effacing and incredibly talented. Not only did he pull off playing a leading man, his performance is subtle and moving and very, very lovely. I just can't believe it.

Read more tributes to Gandolfini below:

David Chase on the Last Time He Saw James Gandolfini (Q&A)

Jeff Daniels: James Gandolfini Pushed for 'God of Carnage' Raises

Chris Albrecht: James Gandolfini Stood With Cast in 'Sopranos' Contract Dispute

Marcia Gay Harden: James Gandolfini Helped Me Through My Divorce

Vince Gilligan: Without Tony Soprano There Would Be No Walter White

HBO's Richard Plepler: James Gandolfini Had 'Compassion for the Underdog'

Patricia Arquette: James Gandolfini 'Slept in His Suit to Stay in Character'

Annabella Sciorra: Working With James Gandolfini Was 'Once-in-a-Lifetime' Experience

Drea de Matteo: James Gandolfini Was a 'King Through and Through'

'Sopranos' Star Dominic Chianese Recalls Parisian Night With James Gandolfini

HBO's Michael Lombardo: James Gandolfini Was 'Ready to Jump' Back Into TV

Edie Falco: Onscreen Love With James Gandolfini 'One of the Greatest I’ve Ever Known'

Jamie-Lynn Sigler: James Gandolfini Made You Feel 'Everything Would Be All Right'

Wounded Warrior Project Co-Founder Remembers James Gandolfini's Charitable Side

'Taxi-22' Producer: James Gandolfini 'Had an Unmatched Detector of Creative Integrity'

Roger Bart: Why I Encouraged James Gandolfini to Pursue Acting