LOS GATOS (CBS SF) – Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt is returning to his mob roots with “Lilyhammer,” the first original series ever to air exclusively on Los Gatos-based Netflix.
It was a “Sopranos” reunion of sorts on the New York red carpet for the North American premiere of the series, where we caught up with Van Zandt, as well as his fellow “Sopranos” alumnus Tony Sirico (aka Paulie Walnuts), to discuss this new show with a unusual fish-out-of-water story.
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“You hear that expression a lot, but this is the real thing…here you have this amazing clash of cultures,” Van Zandt said of his new series.
The legendary E-Street Band guitarist stars as Frank, a New York gangster who goes into witness protection in Norway. The character fell in love with the Scandinavian country after watching the 1994 Winter Olympics, which were held in the town of Lillehammer.
There was no Hollywood sound stage here. The first season was shoot on location, requiring Van Zandt to move to Norway for six months.
“It was cold,” Van Zandt said, “It was zero, five below, ten below…you feel it every night.”
And with so many of Van Zandt’s “Sopranos” cast members in attendance for the premiere, we couldn’t help but ask if any surprise guest appearances were in the works for “Lilyhammer.” Sirico says it could happen.
“The producer [of “Lilyhammer”] already asked me to fly out to Norway, so that’s something,” Sirico revealed, “I told him, I don’t play a rat. I don’t play a rat!”
And while Sirico told us that he’s still holding on to the possibility of a “Sopranos” movie in the future, Van Zandt says not a chance.
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