The Observer's own Spencer Morgan, probably hung over from a long night out with Christopher Hitchens and friends, sends us this from his Treo as he crawls his way back to New York from Washington today.
"The Transom's dad has been a lawyer all its life–albeit one with a wild set of eyebrows and a sinister Sopranos-esque scar on his left cheek.
"Then David Chase, who used to live down the street from the Transom's family growing up in Santa Monica, suggested him for a part on his show.
"Without giving away too much, Papa Transom plays Uncle Junior's nemesis in the mental institute, a deranged former history professor, in tonight's installment.
"Since the filmming, Papa Transom has been going to the gym five times a week, taking acting classes at night, getting color headshots (see above) and trying to engage the Transom in late night script readings. He could be the next Jerry Orbach!
"Charles Morgan, whose own father, Harry, you may remember from M*A*S*H or Inherit the Wind, was kind enough to offer one spoiler a scene of particular interest to me, the part where Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) knees him in the family jewels:
I will say that Dominic was very concerned during the scene where he needs to knee me in the groin, lest he might actually hurt me. The stunt guys had taped up my thighs with thick padding and I had a large cup over me, and so the dilemma for me was that if I hadn't been kneed, it would be harder to act as if I had been, so I pleaded with Dominic and he did finally knee me pretty good. However, when I wheeled around for the fall after being kneed, I managed to fall in a way that banged my own knee good and hard—it was still bleeding when I got undressed that night. So I writhed around on the floor for a while, basically on account of how much my knee really did hurt– with the camera running, and when the director said, "Cut!" I got a round of applause from some of the people on stage. I think that I had demonstrated some true Method acting!
Dominic Chianese was the only Soprano family member who appeared with me in scenes, and so the only one that I got to meet. I do not feel cheated! He strutted right up when told who I was to play and said, "So what the fuck sort of professor are you, what the fuck do you teach?" Not knowing what to say, I fell back on my college major and said, "History." His reply was, "That's perfect, 'cause when I'm through with you, you're going to be history!