James Gandolfini once got a 'disturbing' anonymous phone call in the middle of the night that eventually inspired an iconic 'Sopranos' line

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  • James Gandolfini once got an anonymous phone call that inspired a line on "The Sopranos."

  • Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa recalled the incident in their new book, "Woke Up This Morning."

  • According to the actors, Gandolfini got a call one night telling him, "A don never wears shorts."

James Gandolfini once got an anonymous late-night phone call that went on to inspire an iconic line in "The Sopranos," according to his costars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa.

In their new oral history of the show "Woke Up This Morning," Imperioli and Schirripa (who played Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby "Baccala" Baccalieri, respectively) recalled the incident.

"The story goes like this: Gandolfini got a call in the middle of the night on his cell phone, it was an unknown number," Imperioli remembered. "He answers the phone, 'Hello,' and the guy on the other line says, 'Hello,' and then nobody's talking."

"The guy doesn't identify himself," Imperioli continued. "Guy finally says, 'Listen, you're a great actor, we like what you're doing, but you got to know one thing: 'A don never wears shorts.' And click, the guy hung up."

According to Imperioli, Gandolfini never knew who the caller was or how he got his number. But after the late actor told the writers on "The Sopranos" about the anonymous phone call, the line eventually made its way into the show in season four, episode one, when Carmine Lupertazzi tells Tony Soprano, "A don doesn't wear shorts."

When asked by Schirripa how Gandolfini reacted to the call, Imperioli said he thought Gandolfini was unsettled.

"I think Jim was disturbed by it. Who knows who made the call — but the invasion of privacy is definitely disturbing," Imperioli said.

Elsewhere in the book, which is currently on sale now, guest star Peter Riegert recalled Gandolfini supporting him when Riegert pushed back against being nude in a scene.

"The thing was, at that table read, I didn't realize that Jim recognized, on my face, that there was an actor in trouble," Riegert said. "And he made it so it was my choice."

Read the original article on Insider