‘Sopranos’-inspired Super Bowl ad features Meadow and AJ Soprano, aka Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Robert Iler
Meadow Soprano traces his father Tony Soprano’s exact route from Manhattan to New Jersey – with a bit of a detour – in the “Sopranos”-themed Super Bowl ad for the new electric Chevy Silverado.
As Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who played Meadow in “The Sopranos,” drives, she takes almost the exact same trip as Tony in the show’s iconic opener, frame-by-frame, to the same song: “Woke d ‘Alabama 3’. Up this morning.
In the spot, directed by “Sopranos” creator David Chase with the help of Phil Abraham, the series’ original sequence cinematographer, Sigler brings the tollway back to Jersey. But instead of the Sopranos family home in Caldwell, she heads to Bahrs Landing, the 105-year-old seafood restaurant in Highlands.
There, Sigler reunites with his former co-star, Robert Iler, aka AJ Soprano, his TV brother. They are kissing.
Sigler and Iler, who spoke to NJ Advance Media in 2020 for the 13th anniversary of the show’s surprising blackout cut, have remained friends since “The Sopranos” ended in 2007 and host a podcast together.
Chevy titled the spot “New Generation,” linking the younger generation of the Soprano family (Sigler is 40 and Iler is 36) with the next generation of electric cars.
The automaker emphasizes that there is some brand loyalty involved. In the series, Tony drove a 1999 Chevy Suburban during the title sequence. At the Super Bowl, Sigler drives the 2024 Silverado EV, a pickup truck that she plugs in to refuel when she arrives in Bahrs.
“I think that intro sequence is so iconic because it was gritty and raw and it gave these quick glimpses of Jersey and they weren’t necessarily cinematic,” Sigler says in a behind-the-scenes featurette of Chevy on making the ad.
“It’s this fun thing with ‘Sopranos’,” she says. “Whenever you think this is the last time we’re all going to be together, the last time we’re really going to talk about the ‘Sopranos’ world, there’s always something else.”
Chevy and Chase’s one-minute “Sopranos” nostalgia fest taps into the staying power of the classic series, the same strength that fueled a surge in “Sopranos” rewatches and binge-watches during the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparation of the prequel film “The Many Saints of Newark”, released in October.
The film, Chase’s story of young Tony Soprano and his family in the 60s and 70s, stars James Gandolfini’s son Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola and Ray Liotta of The Union. Like the Super Bowl commercial, the film features Bahrs Landing just before a pivotal scene.
Chase told NJ Advance Media he was especially proud of the film, including the landmark. “The Many Saints of Newark” also filmed in Newark, Paterson and Bloomfield, at Holsten’s, where Tony Soprano was last seen in 2007.
Another concept Chevy could have embraced: Meadow trying to park the car, like in those frantic final moments of the series finale outside of Holsten. But that would of course mean getting the rights to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”. (And it might be even harder to parallel park a van?)
Here’s the behind-the-scenes featurette:
Thank you for counting on us to deliver journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a subscription.
Amy Kuperinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed at @AmyKup on Twitter.