“The guy doesn’t identify himself,” Imperioli continued. “Guy finally says, ‘Listen, you’re a great actor, we like what you’re doing, but you got to know one thing: ‘A don never wears shorts.’
“And click, the guy hung up.”
Nevertheless, creator David Chase and the show’s crew found a way to work the phantom recommendation into “The Sopranos.”
Turns out, James Gandolfini was a wise guy in real life. He helped a fellow cast member avoid a nude scene they were uncomfortable doing.
James Gandolfini saved ‘actor in trouble’ on ‘Sopranos’ from nude scene
Fellow crime-family boss Carmine Lupertazzi Sr. (played by Tony Lip) passed this advice on to Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano in the Season 4 premiere episode, “For All Debts Public and Private,” in which he declared, “John said he went to a cookout at your house. A don doesn’t wear shorts.”