Lorraine Bracco’s role on “The Sopranos,” psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi, is essential to the mob TV series’ core legacy.
However, the Brooklyn native, 67, wasn’t too keen on her character’s “abrupt” departure in the last episode, “The Blue Comet,” before the show’s finale.
Dr. Melfi’s final moment is at a dinner party during which a study that claims sociopaths take advantage of talk therapy comes up in conversation. She thinks long and hard about the study and quickly ends her professional relationship with Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini).
“I remember being upset [with] the direction that [creator David Chase] was bringing Melfi,” she said. “I just felt like he wanted me to get rid of [Tony]. I felt that he did it in a very abrupt way. I don’t think that she should have done it that way.”
Bracco continued, “I would have liked for it to have been more meaningful. I think she cared for Tony. Even though he was a f – – k-up and he was never going to really straighten out. But I think she really cared for him. You don’t spend seven years with someone and [then] discard them. I felt bad about that.”
She added that she wanted Tony to be defensive and confront her about the study’s topic.
“Wouldn’t that have been great for him to have said that to her? ‘F – – k you. I am doing what I am doing. I don’t care what you say to me. I don’t care morally where you want to guide me.’ I think that would have been powerful,” she said.
Dr. Melfi was a staple on the HBO drama throughout the series — from her introduction in the pilot episode in 1999 through the final season in 2007 — as Tony’s psychiatrist, friend and confidant.
Bracco was first offered the role of Tony’s wife, Carmela (played by Edie Falco), but she turned it down because she had already played a mob wife in 1990’s “Goodfellas.”
She earned four Emmy nominations as well as four Golden Globe nods for her performance as Dr. Melfi.