'The Many Saints of Newark' Cast Vs. 'The Sopranos' Characters They Are Playing

The Many Saints of Newark tells the story of the earlier lives of many of the beloved characters from The Sopranos.

The prequel, coming to HBO Max and theaters on September 24, reveals what life was like in New Jersey when Sopranos characters like Junior, Johnny Boy and Silvio were in their younger years.

The Sopranos lead character Tony Soprano, meanwhile, is in his teens during movie, and is only just beginning the life of crime that would eventually lead to that iconic fade to black.

Here's who is playing all those iconic Sopranos characters in the new movie and how closely they shape up to the actors who first played the roles.

Who Is playing Which Sopranos Character in The Many Saints of Newark?

Michael Gandolfini as Anthony "Tony" Soprano (originally played by James Gandolfini)

tony soprano many saints of newark
Michael and James Gandolfini Warner Bros. / HBO Max

James Gandolfini led The Sopranos for eight years, winning three Emmys and a Golden Globe for playing the troubled mob boss Tony Soprano. The actor died in 2013.

For this prequel, the character is played by James Gandolfini's real-life son Michael. The 22-year-old (born four months after the debut of The Sopranos on HBO) previously starred in 10 episodes of The Deuce, and most recently appeared in the Apple TV+ movie Cherry.

Jon Bernthal as Giovanni "Johnny Boy" Soprano (originally played by Joseph Siravo)

Jon Bernthal and Joseph Siravo
Jon Bernthal and Joseph Siravo Warner Bros. / HBO

American Crime Story actor Joseph Siravo played Tony's father, "Johnny Boy," in dreams and flashbacks across five episodes of the show. Now, the character is being portrayed by Jon Bernthal, star of The Punisher and The Walking Dead.

Corey Stoll as Corrado "Junior" Soprano Jr. (originally played by Dominic Chianese)

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Corey Stoll and Dominic Chianese Warner Bros. / HBO

Dominic Chianese played Tony's "Uncle June" across the entire series, where he went from scheming boss to an old man under house arrest. Playing the younger version will be House of Cards' Corey Stoll.

Vera Farmiga as Livia Soprano (originally played by Nancy Marchand)

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Vera Farmiga and Nancy Marchand Warner Bros. / HBO

Tony's mother Livia was Nancy Marchand's last job in a TV career that lasted five decades, and won her a Golden Globe – her first major award since she won her fourth Emmy in 1982. The character was killed off after Marchand's death in 2000.

Now, however, The Many Saints of Newark is bringing the character back, with The Conjuring star Vera Farmiga showing us the early years of the fearsome Soprano matriarch.

Billy Magnussen as Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri (originally played by Tony Sirico)

paulie walnuts many saints
Billy Magnussen and Tony Sirico Warner Bros. / HBO

Tony Sirico was one of the many Goodfellas actors who returned to the gangster well for The Sopranos, where he played the fan favorite character Paulie Walnuts. For The Many Saints of Newark, he is played by Into the Woods and Aladdin star Billy Magnussen, who is also set to star in the long-delayed No Time to Die this year.

John Magaro as Silvio Dante (originally played by Steven Van Zandt)

silvio many saints of newark
John Magaro and Steven Van Zandt Warner Bros. / HBO

The Many Saints of Newark looks set to answer a big Sopranos question: Whether Silvio's bad hairpiece was supposed to be a wig in the show. By the look of the balding John Magaro (who previously starred in The Umbrella Academy), it seems it is.

Samson Moeakiola as Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero (originally played by Vincent Pastore)

The death of Big Pussy after he became an FBI informant is a real no turning back point in the character progression of Tony Soprano in the show. In the movie, we get to see his early years, with Hawaii Five-O actor Samson Moeakiola bringing him back to life.

Playing characters not seen on screen in The Sopranos, meanwhile, are the following:

  • Alessandro Nivola as Dickie Moltisanti (Christopher Moltisanti's father)
  • Leslie Odom Jr. as Harold McBrayer
  • Ray Liotta as Aldo "Hollywood Dick" Moltisanti
  • Michela De Rossi as Giuseppina Bruno
vincent pastore many saints
Samson Moeakiola and Vincent Pastore Warner Bros. / HBO