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Drea de Matteo Revisits Her Heartbreaking Death On 'The Sopranos' 10 Years Later

Charlie Ridgely


The Sopranos, HBO's groundbreaking crime series starring James Gandolfini, wrapped up its successful run 10 years ago. In honor of the show's big anniversary, many of the cast and crew members have started revisiting the events of the series.

Looking back on the series, one of the most memorable - and heartbreaking - moments of The Sopranos was undoubtedly the murder of Adriana La Cerva, played by Drea de Matteo.

If you recall, Adriana had been talking to the feds about Tony's operations. The latter then lied to her about her fiance Chris' health, and had her murdered by one of their own.

de Matteo, along with creator David Chase, writer Terence Winter, and director Tom Van Patten, talked with EW about the gut-wrenching scene in the show's fifth season.

"In those days, everybody was talking about season 5 as maybe being the end of the series," de Matteo said. "I remember one time going and tentatively asking David [Chase] what my fate might be. David didn’t like to be asked things. The show was so huge and such a big deal, it felt like you shouldn’t mess with anything or with him. I asked because I wanted to direct a movie.

"He said, 'Let me think about it.' I remember being afraid that he’d whack me just because he thought I didn’t want to be there anymore or something. But my storyline was such that I was never supposed to be there in the first place and then I ended up being a series regular on the most amazing, TV-changing show. So I didn’t want to come across as ungrateful but I just wanted to know because Adriana was talking to the feds."

The actress then said that Chase came back to her with an answer. He would shoot two different versions of the episode, and decide which route to go before the episode aired.

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"David came to me and said, 'I’m going to shoot this two ways: I’m going to kill you and I’m going to let you live. And nobody’s going to know until it airs.' I’m like, 'Okay, I’m dying, for sure, but why shoot it two ways?' He said one reason was he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, and the other was to keep confidentiality on set. He would go that far to divert the crew from being able to leak anything."

According to de Matteo, the scene where she was killed wasn't her real goodbye to the series. She actually references her last scene with co-star Michael Imperoli as her last hoorah.

"That scene was as real as it gets. That scene was everything for me. Michael [Imperioli] wouldn’t hurt me, so I pushed my neck against his hands so it would look like I was being choked. That was my goodbye — not the scene where I get taken out in the woods."

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After The Sopranos, Drea de Matteo went on to have a major role in the FX biker-drama Sons of Anarchy. She's currently starring in NBC's Shades of Blue.

Each season of The Sopranos is now streaming on HBO Go, as well as Amazon Prime, so you can re-watch the entire series to celebrate its 10-year finale anniversary.

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