This story first appeared in the July 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
He was a great man. As I got to know him in developing and producing a project with him over the past few years, his passion, smarts, genuine presence and humility were ever present. But he also revealed another special quality: his ability to divine honesty in the work. In a script, for example, he could sniff out, before anyone else, if a moment, or a line of dialogue, or a character didn't ring true. He simply had an unmatched detector of creative integrity, which meant he had no interest in acting in or producing anything that wasn't grounded in emotional truth. And when he discovered a false note in the writing, he had no problem saying it, because he seemed to only speak from his gut, and from his heart.
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
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'
Nicole Holofcener: James Gandolfini Played 'Sexy,' 'Hilarious' Romantic Lead
'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
Roger Bart: Why I Encouraged James Gandolfini to Pursue Acting