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Julia Louis-Dreyfus and writer-director Nicole Holofcener were among those sharing fond memories of James Gandolfini at Monday night’s New York screening of one of the late actor’s final films, Enough Said.
While Holofcener couldn’t single out one favorite moment from her time working with him, she did recall that the funny, self-effacing actor loved her noise machine.
“I had this noise machine, and it had a really good fart, a really good belch, some applause and a gunshot, and he wanted his own,” Holofcener told The Hollywood Reporter. “I gave him mine. We kept it on set. It was that kind of set.”
Indeed, that sort of loose atmosphere helped Gandolfini and Louis-Dreyfus craft the film’s final scene, something the former Seinfeld star says they improvised, in the process creating one of her fondest memories of working with him.
“There was a debate as to how to end the film, and we were all discussing the best tone, the best line to end it on and we sort of improvised a particular moment and we both felt like it worked, and we walked off the set and fell into each other’s arms and started crying, and in fact, that’s the last scene of the movie,” Louis-Dreyfus explained to THR.
According to producer Anthony Bregman, the fact that the movie, trailer and poster were finished before Gandolfini’s sudden death in June made it slightly easier to promote the film in the wake of the tragedy.
“It’s a challenge that he’s not here and that he never saw the movie, and it’s a challenge that he’s not here to bask in how great he is in the movie. But beyond that, the movie was finished, the trailer was finished, the poster was finished, so we just went and continued to promote the movie we made,” Bregman said. “And that was easy enough because it’s a great movie, and he’s fantastic in it.”
For Holofcener, the constant questions about her leading man have compelled her to talk about her leading lady.
“I feel answering the questions all about Jim, I feel compelled to talk about Julia, who’s the star of the film, and the focus so far has been so much on Jim, which is completely understandable. I kind of feel like he’d be blowing a big raspberry at us all right now,” Holofcener said.
As for Louis-Dreyfus’ work in the movie, the director said, “She’s funny and tragic and awkward and adorable and painful, and I think it’s a really beautiful performance. She should be really proud, and I hope she is.”
Louis-Dreyfus, who said she was happy to see the film at Monday’s screening, did indicate she was on the verge of getting emotional when old pal Jerry Seinfeld snuck up behind her on the red carpet and gave her a hug.
Fox Searchlight releases Enough Said on Wednesday in select theaters. The film previously premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
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