Lin-Manuel Miranda recently took a moment to look back on his first television role from 2007. Like Lady Gaga—who appeared in the show’s third season as a young actor—Miranda ended up landing a small but sweet role in the sixth season of the Emmy-winning series The Sopranos.
“I went on lots of voiceover auditions and acting auditions, and the only thing I booked was The Sopranos, as a bellboy; I say, ‘I don’t know’ twice,” Miranda tells Judd Apatow for his latest book Sicker In The Head: More Conversations About Life And Comedy.
“I’m so green you can see me look down at my mark. Watch it if you get a chance, because now people are like ‘Lin-Manuel’s cameo on The Sopranos!’ It wasn’t a cameo. I wasn’t even in the union yet.”
In the short scene, Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and Paulie Gualtieri (Tony Sirico) pull up to a hotel and ask Miranda’s character a few questions while on a road trip from New Jersey to Florida. This proves unhelpful as the bellhop does not know if the hotel he works at is new or if there used to be a motel there.
In Apatow’s book, Miranda also shared some insight into his experience working with the late Gandolfini, who stayed later than he needed to in order to help Miranda shoot his scene.
“My one story about Gandolfini was that he stayed and did his sides even though it was the end of the night. He had no need to do that,” Miranda says. “He stayed and did the scene for the scared-shitless Puerto Rican kid in the bellhop outfit.”
Miranda would then go on the appear in episodes of The Electric Company, Modern Family, and House before eventually becoming a household name with Hamilton.