Recalling Gandolfini's big heart in a New York Post article on Friday (21Jun13), Schirripa, who played Bobby Baccalieri in the hit U.S. Tv series, detailed his fondest memories with the actor and revealed he personally cut the show's leading stars massive cheques after he received a bonus.
He writes, "I worked with him quite a bit, especially toward the end of the series, and we were all very good friends. He was a really generous guy. Jim had a bit of a contract dispute on Season 4, and when the season started, he called each of us into his trailer and gave 15 or 16 of us $33,333 a piece, and all he said was, 'Thanks for sticking by me.'
"There are a lot of Tv stars who made a lot more money than Jim who never did that... He always cared about the other guy."
Gandolfini suffered a heart attack and died in Italy on Wednesday (19Jun13).
His The Sopranos castmates Steven Van Zandt, Edie Falco and Michael Imperioli and series creator David Chase are among those who have already paid tribute to the late star.