If you’re a fan of The Godfather, you know that a “consigliere” is a key position in a mob family — the common-sense counselor to the top man. The Godfather character “Tom Hagen” is probably the best known consigliere in popular culture. The second best known consigliere may be “Silvio Dante” in The Sopranos.
“Silvio” is played by Steven Van Zandt, who is also Bruce Springsteen’s bandmate and top lieutenant in The E Street Band. Van Zandt got the role as Silvio when the creator of The Sopranos, David Chase, saw Van Zandt introducing The Rascals when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As a huge fan of The Sopranos, I have loved Van Zandt’s depiction of Tony Soprano’s top lieutenant; he’s wry, humorous and no-nonsense–a perfect second fiddle. So I was really psyched when I found out he was going to be on the show. (He’s promoting the appearance of The Rascals in a stage show that’s hitting Chicago in early November.)
Van Zandt did not disappoint. He’s charming, funny and smart. And it is not lost on him that he — in effect — has played two consiglieres: one to Tony Soprano and the other to Springsteen. He says he likes being the number two guy, that it suits his temperament. I think you’ll like his temperament, too. Check out the interview!