Actor James Gandolfini has had personal struggles with his role in THE SOPRANOS - because the character of mob boss Tony Soprano is difficult to leave behind.

The 42-year-old EMMY-winner has mixed feelings about the show as it heads towards its fifth and penultimate series.

He says, "Tony's got a lot of rage, and you have to scrape that up.

"Eight or nine months a year, 14 hours a day, it starts to take its toll after a while."

And Gandolfini found his role particularly painful in the fourth season finale - Tony split up with his wife CARMELA just as the actor was going through a real-life divorce.

He reflects, "Having gone through something similar personally, it was difficult having to dredge those things up."

09/01/2004 19:34