“The Sopranos” role played by Jason Alexander in the cast was in fact that of Mikey Palmice, who was portrayed by actor Al Sapienza in 10 episodes of the show between seasons 1 and 4. Most of these appearances, of course, took place in Season 1, from which the fiery, fiercely loyal Triggerman Junior Soprano (Dominic Chianese) did not emerge alive. Aside from deceased status, Mikey Palmice was one of the standout characters of the show’s first season. Likewise, The Sopranos proved to be a real turning point in Sapienza’s now decade-long career.
According to Sapienza’s comments on a 2021 episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, he probably wouldn’t have even read for the role if it wasn’t for Jason Alexander. As Sapienza recounts, he and Alexander became friends while working on separate plays in Los Angeles. And when the former was casting for his first directorial gig after 1999’s ‘Seinfeld’ (the indie film ‘Just Looking’), he called in his old pal to read for a role. Oddly enough, Sapienza didn’t get the role in Alexander’s film. However, he did meet the film’s casting director, Georgianne Walken, who was also heavily involved in casting for The Sopranos at the time. Walken was so impressed with Sapienza that she helped expedite his casting for the iconic series. Per Sapienza he shot scenes for “The Sopranos” less than a week after the fateful meeting. And the rest, as they say, is history.