Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has a Twitter feed filled with posts about his cultural influences. During his Hollywood career, Sutter has found inspiration from movies, musicians, playwrights, and comics. And of course, a few TV shows.
One of the most influential for the writer-producer was The Sopranos. Recently, Sutter revealed how he paid his respects to the groundbreaking HBO series during the run of Sons of Anarchy by dropping a couple of Easter eggs into his biker drama via Drea de Matteo.
Drea de Matteo starred in ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy’
De Matteo scored a couple of small TV roles in the late 90s. But it was the part of Adriana La Cerva — the long-time girlfriend of Tony Soprano’s protégé, Christopher Moltisanti — that launched her career. She even won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance.
She appeared in all six seasons of the mob drama. At the same time, she starred as Joey Tribbiani’s sister Gina in the failed Friends spinoff Joey. Her next major role was in Sons of Anarchy as Wendy Case — Jax Teller’s ex-wife and the biological mom of Abel.
Kurt Sutter reveals all of ‘The Soprano’s’ Easter eggs he dropped in his biker drama
Sutter recently participated in #EasterEggSunday on Twitter, where he took the opportunity to share how he honored “one of the greatest shows of all time” with “one of its finest actors.”
In a post titled “Past Lives Pt. 1 Bada Bing,” Sutter explained that “the beautiful and talented Drea de Matteo” played both Wendy on Sons and the “iconic” Adriana on The Sopranos.
“Adriana is killed off in S5 of The Sopranos. And on SOA, we couldn’t resist some homage to that brutal and heartbreaking death,” Sutter wrote.
The first ‘Sopranos’ Easter egg happened in ‘Sons of Anarchy’ season 2
Sutter explained that the first Sopranos Easter egg appears in the second episode of Sons of Anarchy season 2 titled “Small Tears.” He says that it happened when Luann was afraid that Jax was going to kill her.
“When Jax realizes why she’s freaking out, he laughs and tells her, ‘did you think I brought you here to Adriana you?” Sutter wrote.
Another Easter egg happens in Season 7, Episode 12 “Red Rose.” Sutter says that when Wendy “takes a playful jab at Nero,” he jokingly responds, “don’t piss me off now, junkie girl. You’ll be riding in the back of a trunk.” Wendy’s response is, “yeah, wouldn’t be the first time.”
Kurt Sutter was a ‘huge fan’ of ‘The Sopranos’
The Sons of Anarchy creator wrapped up his post by sharing that he was a “big fan” of The Sopranos. He explained that the show had a huge impact on Sons of Anarchy, just like Homicide and Hill Street Blues had on Shawn Ryan’s The Shield.
“I believe The Sopranos created a similar opening for a show like Sons of Anarchy. I will always be indebted to [Sopranos creator] David Chase for that,” Sutter wrote.
“My fellow EP, John Linson, had a relationship with Drea. He was the one who set up the introduction. For me, bringing in Drea to play Wendy was a dream casting. And like most of my cast, the actor took the role to places I never imagined. And ultimately she became the maternal alpha and the omega of SOA mythology. I believe Drea enjoyed those gentle winks at her Italian Jersey goddess.”
Would ‘Sons of Anarchy’ be around without ‘The Sopranos’?
Toward the end of Sons of Anarchy’s seven seasons, Sutter told Vulture that his biker drama would “probably not be around if David Chase hadn’t broken ground” with The Sopranos. The show changed the TV game because it offered up “a band of outlaws who are f**ked up and do some really horrific and heinous things, and yet you’re rooting for them.”
“The Sopranos was a different show from Sons, but let’s face it: Tony Soprano is not an anti-hero. He’s a villain we f**kin’ love. Our guys are not heroes. They’re bad guys. But you love them, because they’re flawed, and because they remind you of people you know,” Sutter said.
All seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy are available on Hulu. All six seasons of The Sopranos are on HBO Max.