Leslie Odom, Jr. was pretty much in the dark over his audition for The Many Saints of Newark.
In a new interview, the 40-year-old actor opened up about not knowing the project was the Sopranos‘ prequel movie, nor anything about the character, either.
“I’d heard that the film was happening. I wasn’t up for it in the original rounds of auditions,” Leslie revealed to Rolling Stone. “But there came a point where they needed someone quickly, and I got the call.”
Click inside to read more of Leslie Odom Jr’s interview about The Many Saints of Newark…
Leslie added that he didn’t “even know that I knew I was auditioning for the Sopranos [movie]” and most of it was kept very secret.
“They keep things very tight to the vest. They’re like the MCU,” he says. “They don’t send you a script, don’t send you character names, scenarios are changed. You have to make some choices as an actor. You take what you see, and you start inventing.”
In the movie, Leslie will play Harold McBrayer, a small-time numbers runner with big ambitions who works for Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola).
Leslie continued on, saying that talks started to happen with him after the casting department “liked the tape that I made, but they had some notes for me. I taped again, then they wanted me to tape again with more notes. And I said, ‘Guys, I don’t mind taping again, but you’ve got to send me a script. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Then I got on the phone with [director] Alan [Taylor], and he helped clear up all of my questions.”
“I didn’t know who I was playing. There was this one scene that ended up in the movie, I’m in the bed with my girlfriend and I’m playing it a bit lighthearted, and Alan calls me and says, ‘I like what you’re doing, but remember, you just killed [someone] a few scenes before.’ I said, ‘Alan, I don’t know any of that. That’s privileged information.’”
The Many Saints of Newark is expected to premiere in October.