FX’s What We Do In The Shadows contains a surprising Sopranos actor cameo in season 3, episode 3, “Gail.” Interest in HBO’s decorated gangster drama The Sopranos is at an all-time high since its final episode aired in 2007, with Tony Soprano’s origin story The Many Saints of Newark set to release next month. Aside from heralding the return of TV’s most iconic characters, The Many Saints of Newark will mark a poignant return to The Sopranos universe, with Michael Gandolfini reprising his late, great fathers’ role.
What We Do In The Shadows season 3 has no shortage of character development, with the Staten Island vampires find themselves in alien waters after inheriting the Vampiric Council and promoting Guillermo. Season 3, Episode 3, “Gail,” does not deviate from this new trend, allowing the first look at Nandor’s titular eternal lover, who is exceptionally flighty, even by vampire standards.
Given her radical physical transformation, one new cameo from a Sopranos actor has taken What We Do In The Shadows fans by surprise. Aida Turturro’s appearance as Gail could be forgiven for slipping somewhat under the radar due to the metamorphosis from her standout role as perennial animal lover Tony Soprano’s sister, Janice. Since The Sopranos concluded, Turturro has made sweeping lifestyle changes designed to enhance her health and is now featuring in a series of upcoming projects, with Gail the first of many TV characters she is set to play this year.
Aida Turturro garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal as Janice Soprano, with the Screen Actors Guild award winner featuring heavily in The Sopranos‘ first 6 seasons. Turturro’s Janice is a compelling portrait of psychological childhood damage, with her lukewarm relationship to Tony highlighting the inevitable emotional rifts that accompany owning a criminal empire. Yet What We Do In The Shadows‘ Gail is a much more relaxed proposition, with the free-spirited love interest a far cry from Turturro’s taut portrayal of a combustible sibling despite still breaking Nandor’s heart (again).
Aida Turturro’s appearance in What We Do In The Shadows season 3 may well have gone unnoticed by many, given the actor’s physical transformation since The Sopranos ended. Turturro was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001, initially ignoring the prognosis stating she was “in denial” as she forged forward with her acting career. However, a period of reflection allowed Turturro to focus more conclusively on her health, seeking out nutritionist advice to understand her body’s relationship to food better. In 2007, the Sopranos star spoke to Skill Magazine, stating, “Nutrition is everything—we could talk about food for hours. Eating healthily is different for a diabetic than for someone without diabetes—for instance, someone who’s just trying to losing weight. If you’re diabetic, you really have to understand what your body does with the foods you eat.” Turturro has remained faithful to her nutritional outlook some 14 years later, as evidenced by her What We Do In The Shadows cameo. In addition to her portrayal of serial jilter Gail, Turturro is reprising her recurring role as Heddie Hawkins in NBC’s The Blacklist alongside a slew of other TV appearances in 2021. Turturro’s acting class has clearly endured throughout all these years and changes, however, as evidenced by her raucous turn as the werewolf-turned-vampire Gail in What We Do In The Shadows.