Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Gandolfini's next-to-last role was as sweet as he was

Sep. 9, 2013 at 3:10 PM ET

IMAGE: Enough Said
Fox Searchlight Pictures
James Gandolfini's sweet character in "Enough Said" was much like himself, co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus said in an interview.

If you see "Enough Said,"one of James Gandolfini's final movies, don't expect to see the late actor reprising his terrifyingly tough Tony Soprano character. 

Co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus told The Hollywood Reporter that Gandolfini's character, Albert, was "exceptionally dear and kind and thoughtful and self-effacing and very gentle, and in fact, this is very close to who Jim himself was."

Gandolfini's character and Louis-Dreyfus' character, a masseuse, fall for each other in the relationship comedy, only to learn that his ex is one of her good friends. Playing a vulnerable man wasn't easy for Gandolfini, even if the role may have been close to his own personality, Louis-Dreyfus said. 

"(The role was) not something that he was particularly comfortable playing," Louis-Dreyfus said. "And there was an enormous amount of vulnerability that he brought to bear to this part."

And that Tony Soprano cockiness was lacking off-screen as well, replaced by a Gandolfini humbleness. 

"He did keep saying to (director) Nicole (Holofcener), 'If you want to recast, if you don't think I'm right ... I understand,'" Louis-Dreyfus said. "He didn't feel deserving of the part, which frankly made him that much more lovable, I thought. More fall-in-love-able."

Joked Holofcener, "He just wanted us to keep telling him how sexy he was."

"And we did!" agreed Louis-Dreyfus.

The film is set to open on Sept. 18.