As befits a second-generation home on the east coast of the United States of America, the interior of the Soprano suburban home is traditional with provincial furnishings and gray pallet overlays. Cranky, up-and-coming matriarch Livia (played by Vera Farmiga) “wouldn’t be flashy and yet not completely heavy on her home decor taste,” says Shaw. “I would describe it as some kind of security.” When choosing the setting, he, writer / creator David Chase and director Alan Taylor had only one mandate: no plastic sheeting. “It’s done, done and done!”
After going through her mother’s wedding album, Shaw decided that patterned wallpaper throughout the dining room would be the most effective way to establish the period. Vintage coverings are from Hannah’s Treasures. “We put him on and toned down a few times because we didn’t want him to become a character on the stage,” says Shaw. For the entire dining room, Graves made sure the table featured needlepoint fabric “like the one my grandmother had,” she says. She found one through a seller on Facebook Marketplace, along with the china, glassware, and cabinetry.
In Livia’s kitchen – where she shares a fleeting motherly moment with her teenage son Tony (played by Michael Gandolfini, son of late actor James Gandolfini, who starred in the original series) – “we upgraded her look to something more Mod, ”says Graves. The “Brady Bunch Style” round table, featuring green vinyl swivel bucket seats, was purchased from an eBay seller. Meanwhile, for the bedroom that Livia shares with her husband Johnny, the team flipped through old Sears catalogs to pick out antique wall hangings and wallpaper. (Alas, the scene didn’t do the final cut!)
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Outside of the Sopranos’ house, fans will surely recognize a few notable local haunts that look a little less bad for wear. The team rebuilt the back office of Satriale’s Pork Store in Kearney, New Jersey, “to have a lot less layers of clutter and [real] tablecloths instead of plastic, ”Shaw says. (Rationale: The Jersey gang had just started meeting at the scene.) What about that infamous ice cream parlor where Tony may have consumed his last onion ring? It’s Holsten’s Confectionery in Bloomfield, New Jersey – and viewers will have the chance to visit the (potential) crime scene as Tony knew when he was young. The team used old photos of the place to date it with exterior awnings and window treatments.
Back in the present, Shaw is delighted to have secured the closure of his The Soprano mandate. “This movie is like when you hear grandparents tell you about the good old days and then you go back and see it,” he says. If there is another chapter in the family tradition, it is ready: “Working with David Chase is not out of my system. I know he always comes up with something unexpected, so if he had more to say about The Sopranos, I would be on board. Hey, don’t stop believing.