Poor Tony Soprano…I mean James Gandolfini. Actually, I mean, poor me and millions just like me. I feel a personal sense of loss.

james gandolfiniHe was a very shy and private man who, according to reports, never understood why we cared. After all, “I’m just an actor doing a job.”

The reason we cared, James Gandolfini, is because our relationship with you was personal and intimate. Your brand was REAL to us. You seemed like a neighbor and friend. Albeit, a rather violent neighbor, but hey, we all have flaws.

So I’m genuinely sad at his death. I feel the loss personally because a part of me passed away too. I spent more hours living with Tony and his family than I have with any of my neighbors. Only a few friends and family have a larger ledger of time with me. It was his investment in our lives that we all grieve. It was not a wide and deep understanding of his talent as an actor.

He never seemed like an actor to me.