Romance & Cigarettes : Cast Biographies

JAMES GANDOLFINI (Nick Murder) is currently shooting the sixth season of HBO's Emmy award winning drama, The Sopranos, in which he stars as the series lead, Tony Soprano. His portrayal of Tony Soprano has brought him three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, and three Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards, including two for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series and one shared with the entire cast of The Sopranos, for Outstanding Ensemble Cast.

Gandolfini has also made a mark in more than 20 motion pictures. He most recently finished shooting Lonely Hearts, opposite John Travolta and Salma Hayek, and All the King’s Men, directed by Steve Zaillian, starring Sean Penn and Jude Law. He has worked with the Coen Brothers previously, in The Man Who Wasn't There. His other film credits include Joel Shumacher’s Eight mm, with Nicolas Cage and Joaquin Phoenix; Steve Zaillian’s A Civil Action, with John Travolta and Robert Duvall; Nick Cassavetes’ She’s So Lovely, starring Sean Penn and Robin Wright-Penn; Tony Scott’s Crimson Tide, starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington; True Romance, starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette; Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan, with Andy Garcia and Lena Olin; and Get Shorty, with Danny Devito and John Travolta.

Born in Westwood, New Jersey, Gandolfini graduated from Rutgers University before beginning his acting career in New York Theatre. He made his Broadway debut in the 1992 revival of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange. He currently resides in New York.

SUSAN SARANDON (Kitty Kane) brings her own brand of sex appeal and intelligence to every role, from her fearless portrayal of Annie Savoy in Bull Durham, to her Oscar-nominated performances in Thelma and Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, The Client, and Atlantic City, to her Academy Award-winning and SAG Award-winning role as Sister Helen, a nun consoling a death-row inmate in Dead Man Walking.

Sarandon will next be seen in Elizabethtown, directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst. Recently, she has been seen in Shall We Dance with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez; Alfie with Jude Law; Noel with Robin Williams, Paul Walker and Penelope Cruz; Brad Silberling’s Moonlight Mile, with Dustin Hoffman; Igby Goes Down with Jeff Goldblum; and The Banger Sisters, with Goldie Hawn and Geoffrey Rush.

Sarandon has worked with writer/director John Turturro before, in his erotic farce Illuminata. Sarandon’s other screen credits include starring roles opposite Paul Newman and Gene Hackman in Twilight; opposite Julia Roberts in the poignant comedy Stepmom; and in Tim Robbins’ drama Cradle Will Rock; Wayne Wang’s Anywhere But Here; and Stanley Tucci’s Joe Gould’s Secret. She also provided one of the voices for the hit animated features Rugrats in Paris, James and the Giant Peach, and Cats & Dogs, and served as narrator for Laleh Khadivi’s documentary 900 Women, about female prison inmates. She has also starred in HBO’s Earthly Possessions, based on the Anne Tyler novel and directed by James Lapine.

On Broadway, Sarandon has appeared in An Evening with Richard Nixon and received critical acclaim for her performances Off-Broadway in A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talkin', Extremities, and The Guys, which she has performed in New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh and at The Abby Theater in Dublin.

Sarandon made her acting debut in the motion picture Joe, which she followed with a continuing role in the drama A World Apart. Her early film credits include the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show and her portrayal of Brooke Shields’ mother in Louis Malle’s controversial Pretty Baby. Sarandon received her first Oscar nomination in Malle’s Atlantic City.

English-born KATE WINSLET (Tula) grew up in a family of actors and began performing for British television when she was thirteen. She made her name internationally at the age of 17, in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures. Her next performance was in the role of Marianne Dashwood in Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility, for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, and for which she won the BAFTA and the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards.

After co-starring opposite Christopher Eccleston in Michael Winterbottom’s Jude, and as Ophelia in Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet, Winslet’s portrayal of Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, earned her worldwide fame. It also won her, at the age of 22, her second Academy Award nomination.

For her portrayal of a young Irish Murdoch in Richard Eyre’s production of Iris, Winslet again received Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. In 2004 she starred opposite Johnny Depp in Finding Neverland, which was named that year’s Best Film by the National Board of Review. In the same year she received nominations for the Oscar, Golden Globe, and BAFTA awards for Best Actress, for her portrayal of the quirky Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. She is the youngest actress ever nominated for four Academy Awards.

Kate recently finished production on All the King’s Men, directed by Steven Zaillian, and she is currently in production opposite Jennifer Connelly in Little Children, directed by Todd Field.

STEVE BUSCEMI (Angelo) has built a career out of portraying some of the most unique and unforgettable characters in recent cinema. In 2000, Buscemi won the Independent Spirit Award, The New York Film Critics Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in Ghost World, directed by Terry Zwigoff. In 1999 he was nominated for an Emmy and a DGA Award for his direction of the “Pine Barrens” episode of The Sopranos, on HBO—as well as a Best Supporting Actor Emmy nomination for his role as Tony Blundetto on the series.

He can be seen in this summer’s Michael Bay thriller The Island and will be seen this winter in Art School Confidential, which once again pairs him with director Zwigoff. Buscemi recently wrapped Monster House, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, and is currently voicing the role of Rat Templeton in the in the upcoming feature version of the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web. Buscemi’s other screen credits include Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, for which he received an IFP Spirit Award Nomination; Martin Scorcese's New York Stories; the Coen Brothers' Millers Crossing, Barton Fink, the Academy Award-winning Fargo, and The Big Lebowski; the role of Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, for which he was awarded the IFP Spirit Award; and Robert Altman's Kansas City.

Buscemi’s directorial debut Trees Lounge, which he also wrote and starred in, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival , while his second film Animal Factory, starring Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong, debuted at Sundance. This year at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival he premiered his third directorial feature, Lonesome Jim, a comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Buscemi began to show an interest in drama while in his last year of high school, and soon after moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg.

The multi-talented MANDY MOORE (Baby) has achieved remarkable success at a young age as both an actress and recording artist. She recently wrapped production on Paul Weitz's AmeriCan Dreamz for Universal, a satire of American politics and show business in which Moore stars opposite Hugh Grant, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Coolidge, Chris Klein, Judy Greer, and Dennis Quaid, and garnered attention for her guest starring role (as herself) on the HBO hit series Entourage.

Also due for an early release in 2006 will be Moore's fourth album, a Warner Bros. Record for which Moore has written all of the songs. Her critically acclaimed “Coverage,” released in 2003, featured mature and adventurous approaches to classic and personal favourites by Elton John, Joan Armatrading, Todd Rundgren, and Cat Stevens, among many others.

Moore made her feature film debut playing a haughty, cruel and popular high school cheerleader in Disney's smash hit comedy The Princess Diaries, directed by Garry Marshall, and also starring Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, and Hector Elizondo. In 2002 she starred opposite Shane West in Adam Shankman's box-office success, A Walk to Remember, for which she won an MTV Movie Award for “Breakthrough Female Performance.” S he also performed four songs featured on the film’s soundtrack.

In 2004 critics and audiences alike took notice of her performance in Brian Dannelly's acclaimed film Saved, co-starring Jena Malone, Eva Amurri, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, and Mary-Louise Parker. Prior film credits include starring roles in Andy Cadiff's Chasing Liberty and Clare Kilner's How to Deal. Moore has also leant her voice to the animated feature Racing Stripes.

As a recording artist, Moore came to national attention with the 1999 release of her debut album, "So Real," which reached platinum status in a remarkable three months and produced the top ten single "Candy." Moore's second album, " I Wanna Be With You (Special Edition)" was released in 2000, and also went platinum. Her self-titled third album, another major seller, featured the hit single "Cry."

Moore has also launched an exclusive line of contemporary tees based on her original concepts and designs called MBLEM. The collection is available in over 100 various trend setting boutiques across the nation.

Mandy was raised in Orlando, Florida and currently lives in Los Angeles.

BOBBY CANNAVALE (Fryburg) received attention as the motor-mouthed hot dog vendor who befriends an outsider in his small New Jersey town in Miramax’s The Station Agent, written and directed by Tom McCarthy. Cannavale and his co-stars, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Dinklage, were nominated for a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and the film won the Audience Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. In 2005, Cannavale was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Will Truman’s boyfriend on Will & Grace, and also guest-starred in several episodes of Six Feet Under.

Cannavale is currently filming Pacific Air 121 for New Line Cinema opposite Samuel L. Jackson and Julianna Margulies. He can also be seen in Don Roos' Happy Endings, co-starring Lisa Kudrow and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and will soon be seen in Haven, co-starring Orlando Bloom and Bill Paxton. His previous work on the big screen includes Shall We Dance, co-starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Lopez; Spike Lee’s 3AM; Kevin Costner’s The Postman; Sidney Lumet’s Night Falls on Manhattan and Gloria; The Bone Collector opposite Angelina Jolie; and the critically acclaimed independent Washington Heights.

Cannavale’s career began in the theatre. He has worked at the Lee Strasberg Institute, Naked Angels, Circle Rep, The Public, Williamstown and The Roundabout. In the last year he has received rave reviews in the acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of David Rabe's Hurlyburly, in which he starred opposite Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton and Wallace Shawn.

MARY-LOUISE PARKER (Constance), a Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award winner and three-time Tony, two-time Emmy and SAG nominee, has a diverse career in movies, television and on stage.

She starred on Broadway in Proof and received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucille Lortel, Obie and New York Magazine Awards and the 2001 T. Schreiber Award for Outstanding Achievement in Theatre. She received a Tony nomination, Theatre World Award, The Clarence Derwent Award and a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as Rita in the Craig Lucas play, Prelude to a Kiss. She originated the role of L'il Bit in How I Learned To Drive, and received Obie and Lortel Awards and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Other credits include: Communicating Doors, Four Dogs and a Bone (MTC), Bus Stop (Circle in the Square), Throwing Your Voice (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Babylon Gardens (Circle Rep), The Importance of Being Earnest (Hartford Stage), among others.

Her film roles include: Saved, Fried Green Tomatoes, Grand Canyon, Reckless, Boys On The Side, The Client, Naked In New York, Bullets Over Broadway, Pipe Dream, Red Dragon, The Best Thief In The World and Norman Rene's highly acclaimed Longtime Companion. She also starred in The Five Senses for which she was nominated for a Genie Award.

She received Golden Globe and Emmy Awards and a SAG nomination for her performance as Harper Pitt in the Mike Nichols production of Angels In America for HBO. Parker received an Emmy nomination for her role as Amy Gardner on NBC's The West Wing. Other TV credits include: John Smith's Sugartime (HBO), the Hallmark Hall of Fame telefilms, A Place For Annie, Miracle Run, Saint Maybe, Cupid And Cate, and The Simple Truth of Noah Dearborne, opposite Sidney Poitier.

AIDA TURTURRO (Rosebud) is best known for her Emmy Nominated turn as “Janice” on HBO’s ground-breaking series, The Sopranos.

Her feature film credits include Martin Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead, Woody Allen’s Celebrity and Manhattan Murder Mystery, and John Turturro’s Illuminata and Mac. Aida also appeared in Sidewalks of New York, Mickey Blue Eyes, Deep Blue Sea, Sleepers, Fallen, Denise Calls Up, and in a leading role in Angie opposite Geena Davis.

Ms. Turturro made her Broadway debut in A Streetcar Named Desire starring Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange, and has been seen most recently in the Off Broadway play Souls of Naples.

CHRISTOPHER WALKEN (Cousin Bo) won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his astonishing performance in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter, a role that also earned him the New York Film Critic's Circle Award and a Golden Globe nomination. Walken also received a 2002 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won BAFTA and SAG awards for his role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Walken currently appears in the comedy Wedding Crashers opposite Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. He will next be seen in Tony Scott's action/thriller Domino. He has just wrapped production on Fade to Black and is currently in production on Frank Coraci's Click opposite Adam Sandler and Kate Beckinsale.

Walken began acting and dancing as a boy. He trained to be a dancer at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan, and eventually went on to appear in numerous stage plays and musicals. He received the Clarence Derwent Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The Lion in Winter, an Obie Award for his role in The Seagull, a Theatre World Award for The Rose Tattoo, and the 1997 Susan Stein Shiva Award for his work with Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. In the fall of 1999, he co-starred in the stage adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead. In the summer of 2001, Christopher again appeared in a revival of Chekhov's The Seagull for the New York Shakespeare Festival, directed by Mike Nichols, opposite Meryl Streep.

Christopher Walken's film career skyrocketed after his unforgettable role as Duane Hall, brother to Diane Keaton's title character in Woody Allen's Oscar-winning Best Picture Annie Hall. Since then, Walken has appeared in more than 50 feature films, including Herbert Ross' Oscar-nominated Pennies From Heaven; David Cronenberg's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dead Zone; James Foley's At Close Range, opposite Sean Penn; Mike Nichols' Biloxi Blues, based on the Neil Simon play; Abel Ferrara's gritty crime-drama King of New York; Joe Roth's comedy, America’s Sweethearts, co-starring Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, and John Cusack; and Tony Scott's Man on Fire, opposite Denzel Washington. Most recently, Walken starred in the heart-warming drama Around the Bend, opposite Michael Caine.

Walken has succeeded in creating some of the most memorable characters in film history, such as Vincent Coccotti in Tony Scott's True Romance, Captain Koons in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Carlo Bartolucci in Suicide Kings, The Headless Horseman in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, and the crooked businessman Max Shreck in Burton's Batman Returns.

On television, Walken has memorably hosted Saturday Night Live a total of 6 times since 1990 and contributed a mesmerizing dance performance to the Spike Jonze-directed music video for Fat Boy Slim's Weapon of Choice.