This piece by Matt Zoller Seitz is just terrific. It explains why we’re all feeling a sense of loss today. Gandolfini was us. RIP.

Seitz on James Gandolfini, 1961-2013: A Great Actor, A Better Man

James Gandolfini was real. He was special. You could feel it.

Friends felt it. Colleagues felt it. People who talked to him for five minutes and never saw him again felt it. People who never met him in person and knew him only through his performance on The Sopranos felt it.

It was real. It was deep. It was true.

James Gandolfini had an authentic connection with viewers. Everyone who watched him perform, in a starring role or a bit part, came away feeling understood. You watched him act and you thought, “Yes. He gets it. He understands.”

He wasn’t one of them. He was one of us.

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