David Chase on The Sopranos ending - TCA Awards report
David Chase (The Sopranos) won two TCA/TV Critics awards on Saturday night in a ceremony at the Beverly Hilton.
The first, for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, was presented by TCA member Molly Willow of The Columbus Dispatch.
"After eight years of some of the best writing and performances ever on television...we didn't want to see it end -- and as it turns out, we didn't have to," Willow deadpanned, referring to the much debated finale in which Tony Soprano cut to black.
"I don't think any of us has ever enjoyed being so left in the dark," Willow added.
Chase received one of two standing ovations that night -- the other went to retiring TCA member Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News.
"Thank you very much to the TCA," Chase said. "This award means a great deal to us. To be in the same company as other [Heritage nominees] Roots, Sesame Street -- although, we felt we had a pretty good shot at [winning] when we didn't see any Muppets in the audience."
Cast members Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco joined Chase on stage. "I wish we had more of them [here tonight]," says Chase. "Obviously, at the head of that list is Mr. Gandolfini. We all know that without him there would be no show at all -- or a show so different that I shudder to think about it."
Chase also paid homage to past cast members Vincent Pastore, Drea de Matteo, Joe Pantoliano, Annabella Sciorra, Steve Buscemi -- "all those dead people," the producer quipped.
TCA members didn't have much luck getting Gandolfini to open up about The Sopranos finale at the HBO party last week. What about Chase?
"I wasn't going to do this," Chase says, "but somebody said it would be a good idea if we said something about that ending. I really wasn't going to go into it, but I'll just say this...when I was going to Stanford University's graduate film school and was 23 [years old], I went to see Planet of the Apes with my wife. When it was over, I said, 'Wow ... so they had a Statue of Liberty, too.'"