Adriana La Cerva’s death on The Sopranos could have been portrayed differently according to Drea De Matteo. The HBO crime drama, created by David Chase, ran for six seasons starting in 1999, and starred James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, an anxious mobster attending therapy. The series also starred Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steven Van Zandt, and Tony Sirico. The Sopranos is widely regarded as one of the best television series in history, winning multiple awards for Gandolfini, Falco, and the show itself for Chase.
The series continues to be discovered by newer audiences and remains one of the most talked-about shows, due to the complexity of its characters and its multiple unforgettable moments. One of the show’s most memorable episodes was the penultimate episode of season 5, which ended with the unseen and impending death of Adriana La Cerva, after she confessed to her fiancée Christopher Moltisanti that she was an FBI informant.
In an interview with Vulture, De Matteo revealed there was originally an extra scene in her death episode, “Long Term Parking,” that would have given away the ending. De Matteo thought the scene would have damaged the tension for the audience and fought to have it removed. The scene turned out to be Christopher revealing to Tony that Adriana is an informant and Tony ordering her execution, which was later used in the next season. Read what De Matteo had to say below:
“There was a scene shot for that episode where Christopher is hysterically crying and tells Tony everything and Tony says, ‘I’ll handle it’. I went to the writers and said that you can’t air it because then everyone will know that Adriana is walking into her own death. We needed her to go out with a bang, and we owe her that much. Stevie backed me, but I’m not sure about Michael [Imperioli]. And they took out the scene because they realized it was a better way to keep people on the edge of their seats and used the scene as a flashback in the next season.”
One of the reasons why The Sopranos was so revered during its time on the air is because it never spoon-fed the audience every single detail and instead left things up to interpretation, finding a more intellectual, yet realistic, way to depict its storylines. This is especially evident in the divisive series finale, where Tony’s fate is left purposefully ambiguous. This quality is what made “Long Term Parking” and Adriana’s death scene one of the show’s most memorable moments and De Matteo knew it had to be handled perfectly.
The Sopranos had a number of significant moments throughout its run, which is why it made such an impact on audiences and is considered a crowning achievement in storytelling. Even years later, the legacy of the series is still going strong; a new prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, which was written by Chase and explores the reign of the DiMeo crime family and the rise of Tony Soprano as he is led by his gangster uncle, Dickie Moltisanti, was released on October 1. Overall, The Sopranos has left an indelible mark on television history and stories like De Matteo’s are the reason why.