4:12 p.m. EDT March 26, 2014
It was shortly after their first meeting on the Brooklyn set of The Drop that Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini had to shoot a pivotal, intense scene together.
But director Michaël Roskam had plenty of confidence in the duo for the drama about the underground crime world (due out Sept. 19).
"In that meeting, I could see there was a bit of a smile between them. It was like, 'We're going to nail this, right?' " says Roskam. "And they did this intense scene and were just spot on. There was a beautiful connection between those two guys."
Gandolfini's performance was his last for the big screen, as the actor died of a heart attack at age 51 during an Italian vacation last June, just months after filming The Drop.
Roskam, who was nominated for a best-foreign-language Oscar for his 2011 Belgian drama Bullhead, believes the iconic star of The Sopranos was continuing to break into new territory in the suspenseful drama, showing a different kind of vulnerability.
Lehane lobbied hard to make sure Gandolfini signed onto the project.
"There are certain guys out there that are exceptionally rare who can completely feel this type of guy in their bones," says Lehane. Gandolfini could "speak with a sort of music of the urban experience and do it effortlessly."
Roskam says Hardy and Gandolfini were clearly so proud of their work that they would hang out together on set as if savoring the moment.
READ MORE HERE: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/03/26/james-gandolfini-last-movie-drop-tom-hardy/4956141/