Only in Jersey: 3/6/12

It’s Tuesday! Time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

The Vanity Fair spread includes new images of the cast (some of those last seen alive, above, and dead, below) by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz./Photo credit Vanity Fair

This year marks five years since HBO’s brilliant, Jersey-immersed series “The Sopranos” ended. And the April issue of Vanity Fair commemorates the anniversary with a look back at the show, which includes new interviews with all of the principals, including Clifton/North Caldwell-raised creator David Chase and stars James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) of Park Ridge, Edie Falco (Carmela Soprano), Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Jennifer Melfi) and more. Among the interesting tidbits:

Steven Van Zandt (Silvio Dante) talks about the infamous (off-camera) scene in which he kills Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo): “So for – whatever – six hours, you have to beat this girl up, drag her out of the car, throw her on the ground. That was really difficult. I felt so exhausted at the end of that day. I said to Drea, ‘You better win the damn Emmy after all this, you know, make it worth it.’ And she did.”

David Chase originally wanted Steven Van Zandt for the role of Tony Soprano.

Tony Sirico (Paulie “Walnuts” Gualtieri) and Frank Vincent (Phil Leotardo) auditioned for Corrado “Uncle Junior” Soprano, but Dominic Chianese got the part.

Steven Schirripa (Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri) wore fat suits for the first two seasons of the show: “And then I guess, in Season Four, David thought I was fat enough on my own, so he let me get rid of it.”

Steven Schirripa talks about the pay dispute between James Gandolfini and HBO, which delayed filming: “After Season Four, Jim called all the regulars into his trailer and gave us $33,333 each, every single one of us… That’s like buying everybody an SUV. He said, ‘Thanks for sticking by me.'”

Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti) on the series controversial ending: “I thought it was a great ending. A lot of people hated it and thought it was a cop-out, but I thought it was the proper way. Knowing David Chase, he never liked to wrap things up neatly. I never expected it to be either a cliffhanger so people would wait for the movie or wait for another season or just some like really final thing. But I think he’s (Tony) dead, is what I think. David was trying to put us in the place of the last things you see before you die. You remember some little details and something catches your eye and that’s it. You don’t know the aftermath because you’re gone.”

You can see more of Annie Leibowitz’s images here. If you are a big “Sopranos” fan, you will definitely want to pick up Vanity Fair this month!

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Only in Jersey: 2/22/12

Happy Wednesday!  It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Whitney Houston: We will always love you JUST LIKE THIS.

Another day, more Whitney Houston drama. In addition to the pop star’s Westfield cemetery plot being indefinitely closed to the public, tabloid rag The National Enquirer has made the tacky, tasteless decision to publish – on its front page, no less – an unauthorized photo of the Newark/East Orange native in her casket. The photo was apparently taken by someone who attended the visitation at Newark’s Whigham Funeral Home last week, and the natural assumption is that that same someone made beau coup bucks by selling it to the Enquirer. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to remember Whitney alive – and obviously her family wants us to, as well, otherwise they would’ve opened the casket during the televised funeral on Saturday.  The sight of her lifeless body (even if the funeral home’s restorative artist did a beautiful job) is the last thing I want to see as I’m checking out at the grocery store.

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Only in Jersey: 2/21/12

Happy Fat Tuesday!  It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

All four judges of NBC’s “The Voice” – Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine – last night battled to add Wall native Charlotte Sometimes to their team after hearing her rendition of OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” “Charlotte Sometimes? I want you all the time, Charlotte,” teased Christina. “Well, you know, there’s enough of me to go around,” Charlotte replied. But it was Blake, who called her a “unique vocalist,” whom Charlotte ultimately decided to go with.

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Only in Jersey: 2/16/12

TGI Thursday!  We’re almost there, folks.  And it’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Whitney Houston: Final farewell to be broadcast online.

Whitney Houston’s private funeral, which is scheduled for Saturday at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church, is expected to be a star-studded event. People reports that Whitney’s costar from “The Bodyguard,” Kevin Costner, will speak at the service, and her godmother, Aretha Franklin, and Stevie Wonder will perform. Others anticipated to attend include Whitney’s mentor Clive Davis and Oprah Winfrey, reports TMZ. Newark’s police are already preparing to keep fans and onlookers far, far away: The Star-Ledger says Newark’s finest will lock down streets within six square blocks of the church beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday (the funeral begins at noon). Fans hoping to catch glimpses of those in attendance will have a better chance by staying home, as The Associated Press confirms it will stream the service live online. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is responding to critics who say he should not have ordered the state’s flags fly at half-staff on Saturday in memory of the singer. “I am disturbed by people who believe that because her ultimate demise — and we don’t know what is the cause of her death yet — but because of her history of substance abuse that somehow she’s forfeited the good things that she did in her life,” The Associated Press quotes Christie as saying. “I just reject that on a human level.” Whitney, he added, deserves the honor as a “daughter of New Jersey.” “What I would say to everybody is there but for the grace of God go I,” he said. I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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Only in Jersey: 2/15/12

Happy Hump Day!  It’s time for another edition of Only in Jersey!

If it’s filming in Jersey, takes place in Jersey, or is about celebs from Jersey, you will find it here.

Whitney Houston: Coming home. /Photo credit Getty Images

Despite speculation to the contrary, Whitney Houston’s family has no plans to hold a public memorial for the late singer, who died February 11 in Los Angeles, California. Whitney will be remembered during an invitation-only funeral service beginning at noon on Saturday, February 18, at her childhood church, New Hope Baptist, in Newark. There is, however, talk that the singer will be buried in Westfield’s Fairview Cemetery. TMZ reports Whitney will be laid to rest beside her father, John Russell Houston Jr., who died in 2003, because that was what she wanted. Newark, meanwhile, is preparing for a crush of fans and onlookers during Saturday’s celebrity-filled, somber ceremony. “Obviously Whitney Houston was one of the greatest performers of our time, and certainly we expect a huge presence of other performers, actors and we’re preparing for all that,” the city’s police director, Samuel DeMaio, told The Star-Ledger. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered that state flags be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in Whitney’s memory.

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