The 20-year-old Gandolfini, who's a dead ringer for his dad James Gandolfini, was born in 1999, the year The Sopranos premiered. He was just 14 and vacationing with his dad in Italy when the elder Gandolfini died of a heart attack in his hotel room in 2013. “The funny thing is, before the audition, I had never watched a minute of The Sopranos," says Michael Gandolfini, who landed the young Tony Soprano role in The Many Saints of Newark after recurring on HBO's The Deuce, in an interview with Esquire. "I was just a kid when he was making it. I would go to the set and ask him what it was about, and he’d say, ‘Oh, it’s about this guy who’s in the mob and kind of goes to therapy.’ The hardest part of this whole process was watching the show for the first time." He added: "It was an intense process. Because, as an actor, I had to watch this guy who created the role, to look for mannerisms, voice, all those things I would have to echo. But then I’d also be seeing my father. I think what made it so hard was I had to do it alone. I was just sitting alone in my dark apartment, watching my dad all the time. I started having crazy dreams. I had one where I auditioned for (Sopranos creator) David (Chase) and I looked down at my hands, and they were my dad’s hands.” ALSO: Michael Gandolfini says his dad never wanted him to be an actor.