102 Minutes With… Aida Turturro
New York magazine|May 24 - June 06, 2021
The Sopranos star finds her second calling on Cameo.
By Rachel Handler

THE ACTRESS Aida Turturro studies me intently. We are looking at each other from our laptops—she in Connecticut filming a movie in which she plays a 1960s nun involved with a group that provides black-market abortions, me in my New York bedroom wearing one-half of an outfit. “You’re like a new-breed dog with very white teeth,” she declares with glee. “Look at you. I should have straightened my teeth, but I liked them. I was never a coffee drinker, but then I went to Italy and got addicted to the espresso, so I got a Nespresso machine and started making it at home. Now I whiten my teeth, but they’re still not white because the coffee, the coffee, the coffee!”

She takes a breath, apologizes for her hair (“My hair has to be back because I wear a habit. It’s all good, babe”), and squints at me again, kindly. “You little baby! When’s your birthday?” I tell her it’s in August, and she gasps. “You’re a Leo!” she says. “Those Leos … When they’re powerful, they’re powerful. I think you’re one of the powerful ones, right?”

Lately, Turturro has had a lot of practice giving oddly specific compliments to strangers. In the early days of covid-19, Turturro— who is best known for playing Tony’s chaos agent sister, Janice, on The Sopranos but has had a career of supporting TV and movie roles—joined Cameo, the online service on which you can pay anywhere from $5 to thousands of dollars for a personalized video message from more than 40,000 celebrities, ranging from Caitlyn Jenner ($2,500) to former NFL coach Mike Ditka ($600) to Chewbacca Mom ($50).

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