The two met when they were filming Welcome To The Rileys, a story about a troubled young girl who is taken in by Gandolfini's stern father-figure. According to Entertainment Weekly, they shared a bond over their natural tendency to shy away from the camera, and the fact that both actors had rabid fan bases and career defining (and often directing) roles. In a 2009 interview, Stewart understood Gandolfini's desire to stay out of the spotlight: “He has that (intense fan base). It’s so annoying. Everybody is like ‘Tonyyy! Yo, Tonnyy!’ I’m sitting there going, ‘Don’t do that … He will f***ing deck you.’”
She released a brief statement to Entertainment Weekly, saying simply, “When I heard of James’ passing I was in New Orleans, where we met shooting, and every memory flooded back and gutted me. I’ll hold that time near to me forever. He was immeasurably great. My heart goes out to his beloved family.”
See the two together in an intense scene below:
Photo: Via Destination Films.