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August 28, 2015

Huge payday for Sopranos actor

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 21st 2008 9:20AM
Carm and TonySome actors from The Sopranos have won awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, et. al. At least one has achieved another kind of infamy. Federico Castelluccio, who played the Italian hit man Furio, has sold a painting inspired by the show for $175,000. The image, a variation on the famous 15th century dual portrait, Duke and Duchess of Urbino, is called The Duke and Duchess of North Caldwell. That would be Tony and Carmela Soprano of Caldwell, New Jersey.

Federico, who has no less that eight film roles to his credit for release this year, doesn't need to paint to pay the rent. He paints because he's an artist and -- clearly -- a good one. This original work was created after his appearance on the show. As Furio Giunta, the Italian made the mistake of becoming a wee bit too enamored with his boss's wife. Rather than stay in Jersey and potentially have an affair with Carmela, Furio returned to Italy and never came back -- as far as we know. David Chase may have a whole other story that was written and never filmed involving Furio. Chase is funny that way.

Anyway, Federico had an idea of a painting. "I had just finished the show's fourth season, where Furio and Carmela had this placid love affair that was never consummated. James Gandolfini has the same strong presence as the Duke, and I knew there was going to be a dividing line (between Tony and Carmela), and that my character was the cause of their split at the end of the season."

Castelluccio's work was purchased by a Toronto oil executive. (Who else but an oil executive would have that kind of money in these economic tough times?)

According to Keya Morgan, an art expert who put the deal together, there was a memorabilia angle to this transaction. The picture is a piece of The Sopranos memorabilia, although I doubt if you or me or some other fan made a painting of Tony and Carmela it would be worth so much. Federico's artistry makes this valuable. Bravo to him!

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