Leslie Odom, Jr. was in the dark about his audition for The Many Saints of Newark.
In a new interview, the 40-year-old actor opened up about not knowing anything about The Sopranos’ prequel film, nor anything about the character.
“I’d heard that the film was happening. I wasn’t up for it in the original rounds of auditions,” Leslie told Rolling Stone.“But there came a point where they needed someone quickly, and I got the call.”
Leslie said that he “even know that I knew I was auditioning for the Sopranos ” and that much of it was kept very secret.
“They keep things very tight to the vest. They’re like the MCU,” he says. “They don’t send you a script, don’t send you character names, scenarios are changed. You have to make some choices as an actor. You take what you see, and you start inventing.”
In the film, Leslie will play Harold McBrayer, a small time runner with big ambitions who works for Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola).
Leslie continued, adding that the casting department “liked the tape that I made, but they had some notes for me. I taped again, then they wanted me to tape again with more notes. And I said, ‘Guys, I don’t mind taping again, but you’ve got to send me a script. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Then I got on the phone with [director] Alan [Taylor], and he helped clear up all of my questions.”
“I didn’t know who I was playing. There was this one scene that ended up in the movie, I’m in the bed with my girlfriend and I’m playing it a bit lighthearted, and Alan calls me and says, ‘I like what you’re doing, but remember, you just killed [someone] a few scenes before.’ I said, ‘Alan, I don’t know any of that. That’s privileged information.’”
Leslie will star alongside Michael Gandolfini, Jon Bernthal, Corey Stoll, Ray Liotta and Vera Farmiga.