Gritty, realistic and far from glamorous, the world created in HBO’s The Sopranos was perhaps the most memorable in TV history. Family man Tony Soprano was an unlikely hero – constantly torn between what was right and what needed to be done for the good of the ‘family’. Oh, and he liked to kill and mutilate from time to time.

The Sopranos changed television forever. This show portrayed gangsters as real people; fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles. The brutality and realism that defined this great show was simply too much for the major networks. Surely no one wanted to see bodies being chopped up in bathtubs and ageing men strutting around New Jersey like ailing car salesmen?

Well, it turns out they did, because The Sopranos became a TV phenomenon the likes of which had never been seen before.

I would argue that the producers at HBO would never have considered making risky projects such as Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire had it not been for the astonishing success of The Sopranos. So, let’s take a moment to thank the demi-Gods at HBO for changing all our lives.

Like many TV shows with a cult following, what went on behind the cameras was nearly as interesting as what went down in front of them. So, here are 15 things you may not know about The Sopranos.

15. One of Tony’s henchmen was in Crocodile Dundee II

Federico Castelluccio who played Furio Giunta was an extra in Crocodile Dundee II. Despite this bad career choice, Castelluccio still went on to make his mark as Tony’s Italian enforcer.

14. Meadow Soprano’s soccer coach was also an FBI agent

Don Hauser was Meadow Soprano’s soccer coach in Season One, yet he makes a reappearance as an FBI agent in the third season. There must be a limited supply of actors with a New Jersey accent in America.

13. The actor who played Vito Spatafore appeared in Season One as a different character

Actor Joseph R. Gannascoli played man in the bakery Gino in Season One, but not content with sticking to just one character, he makes another appearance in Season Three as resident man in the closet Vito Spatafore.

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