Tony Soprano is the protagonist of The Sopranos
, an HBO
production which received Best Drama
in the 2000 Emmy Awards
. Soprano plays the underboss of a New Jersey
crime family. Even though he is a captain rather than the boss, he actually runs the family with only figurehead
authority given to his uncle Junior
Tony Soprano suffers panic attacks and is currently seeking psychiatric help for that ailment. The beauty of the Tony Soprano character is the mixed mythic images of the middle class, middle aged, white male combined with the aggressive, violent nature of the mafia. On one hand, Soprano has a nice house in a good neighborhood, a son on the football team and a daughter in college. On the other hand, he bursts into violent rages that have left a number of people dead.
Tony Soprano is played superbly by James Gandolfini whose other credits include The Mexican and 8MM. Gandolfini is wonderfully able to switch from sweet dopey house-dad to cutting off someone's finger. The mercurial switches of emotion are what makes Tony Soprano a completely sympathetic character that is still dangerous and intriguing.