Steven Van Zandt says Bruce Springsteen friendship inspired his ‘The Sopranos’ role

"I had to say to him: 'nobody cares about your life'"

Steven Van Zandt has said that he used his friendship with Bruce Springsteen to inform his character in The Sopranos.

Van Zandt said in a new interview that he could imagine his character, Silvio Dante, delivering home truths to his mobster boss, Tony Soprano, because he sometimes had to do that as Springsteen’s best friend.

He told The Times: I could certainly draw on my relationship with Bruce. Part of the obligation of being a best friend is that sometimes you have to bring the bad news, to express an opinion that they’re not going to like.


“With success like Bruce had in the Eighties, you cannot help but lose perspective. You start thinking you’re a genius, the greatest thing in the world, and who’s gonna argue with you?

“The mindset is: did you just sell 20 million albums? I was the only guy who wasn’t scared of Bruce, so I could tell him what I thought.”

Steven Van Zandt in The Sopranos
Steven Van Zandt in ‘The Sopranos’ – Credit: Alamy

Van Zandt, who plays in Springsteen’s E Street Band, referred to an instance when he told Springsteen to rethink his 1987 track ‘Ain’t Got You’ in which he brags about success.

“We had been separate for a while at that point and he was trying to adjust from being this ridiculously successful guy, after coming from nothing. He was trying to be honest about his situation in that song, but sometimes you can be too honest.

“Bruce’s talent is explaining to people their lives, and giving insight and perspective to the listener.


“I had to say to him: ‘nobody cares about your life. Nobody wants to hear about how rich you are.'”

The musician and actor’s comments come after he revealed recently that he was asked to give feedback on early cuts of the upcoming The Sopranos prequel film The Many Saints Of Newark.

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