‘Sopranos’ Prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Stuntwoman Describes Massive Riot Scene

Sopranos fans are waiting for the prequel The Many Saints of Newark. The film stars Michael Gandolfini as his father, James’, legendary character Tony Soprano. Sopranos creator David Chase co-wrote the movie about Tony’s rise in the New Jersey organized crime scene. Alyma Dorsey did stunts on the film.

Many Saints of Neark: Michael Gandolfini
Michael Gandolfini | Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Dorsey spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about the new documentary, Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story. She spoke about her work on the Sopranos prequel, and you can hear more stories from her and other stuntwomen in the film, available now on digital VOD. The Many Saints of Newark is in theaters March 12, 2021.

Tony Soprano has a riot on his hands in ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Mob stories are always full of violence. Young Tony Soprano finds himself in the middle of race riots between Black and Italian communities in the 1960s. Dorsey plays a woman caught in the riot.

“For my scene, there was some rioting that was going on. I actually had to jump out of a store, out of a window with my child and run. That was really cool. The stunts in that were super fun. My stunt was fun.”

‘The Many Saints of Newark’ stunts were truly history

Since The Many Saints of Newark takes place in the 1960s, some 30 years before The Sopranos, Dorsey had to dress the part.

“They had the clothes, absolutely,” Dorsey said. “Because it was a period piece, all the clothes we had to wear were of that time period. We definitely were in that time period, that era’s garb.”

Many Saints of Newark
Michael Gandolfini | Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

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Dorsey said recreating the riot in The Many Saints of Newark was especially fulfilling because it was historic.

“It’s cool to work in those type of films when you’re placed back in the day and you’re really having to relive some of the things,” Dorsey said. “That was based off of a true event. Those kind of films are really cool to really be able to re-enact what happened and you get a feel for how things work, how people lived a long time ago.”

‘The Many Saints of Newark’ reunited Alyma Dorsey with a friend

Dorsey referenced G.A. Aguilar, the second unit director for the film. Stuntwomen get to know the second unit teams really well, and often directors ask them back. 

“I love George Aguilar,” Dorsey said. “He’s amazing. There are a lot of stunts in that film. I wasn’t on the film for the whole time so I couldn’t tell you all the stunts that were in it.”

L-R: Jamie-Lynn Sigler, James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Robert Iler | HBO

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When Dorsey is on the job, she focuses on the scene at hand. She didn’t fangirl out over The Sopranos. She let the rest of the filmmakers work.

As stunt people, sometimes we get deep into the story but most of the times we don’t. A lot of the times, I don’t even know what’s going on. I come in for my job and then I’m out. A lot of times I have no clue what the film’s about. I know who I’m playing or I know the scene I’m in but I’m moving from show to show to show, so I don’t really have that much time to get that invested personally into the show. I do my homework enough to know what it’s about, what the feel is of my character or the person that I’m doubling.

Alyma Dorsey, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 9/10/2020

Alyma Dorsey didn’t meet ‘The Sopranos’ either

Dorsey has also worked with a lot of movie stars, but she says she often does not even try to meet them. She did not interact with Michael Gandolfini on The Many Saints of Newark.

L-R: James Gandolfini, Edie Falco, Robert Iler | Will Hart / HBO

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I did not personally meet him. That’s one thing about me. I don’t really go on sets trying to meet people. I’m really in my own world trying to get my job done. The only time I really interact with another actress is maybe if I’m doubling them, or if they just happen to talk to me, we just happen to be in the same spot and we just end up having conversations. But I don’t seek it out.

Alyma Dorsey, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 9/10/2020