Model Turned Actress Sofia Milos Won International Acclaim As Camorra Boss On HBO's The Sopranos

Guest contributor Nick Christophers interviewed actress Sofia Milos, who readers of this blog will remember for her performance on the Sopranos as Camorra boss Annalisa Zucca, one of the few women in David Chase's acclaimed HBO series capable of going toe-to-toe with James Gandolfini's Tony Soprano. 

James Gandolfini and Sophia Milos
Annalisa meets Tony to discuss a luxury car smuggling operation.

Zucca is the acting boss of the Zucca family in Italy in season two's fourth episode, Commendatori. Tony and his crew (well, Christopher and Paulie go with him) are greeted as commendatori upon their arrival in Naples. Paulie Walnuts Gualtieri loves the word so much, he tries to use it throughout their stay, to mixed results. Tony and company head to Italy in order to meet with members of a Camorra family (distantly related to the Sopranos) to set up a car-smuggling operation. But Tony is shocked to discover that Don Vittorio, the boss of the Naples family, has clearly started down the slope of senility ("Ton, you give this guy a golf club, he'll probably try to fck it," as Paulie Walnuts whispers in his ear). Ton learns it is actually the don's daughter, Annalisa, who holds the power (the official boss, Annalisa's husband, is serving a life sentence). Of course, horndog Tony is captivated by this sultry exotic beauty and intrigued by her propensity to burn her fingernail clippings (so enemies can’t use them to put a curse on her, as she later confides). Ultimately Tony makes the deal with her, cinching it by reaching (some kind of) agreement that involves her getting more cars and Tony being able to import her soldiers to the USA to kill people for him (shades of Carmine Galante). Tony also somehow comes out of this with Furio Giunta, who he brings back to the US to serve as his bodyguard.

Later in season two, Annalisa returns via one of Tony's demented fever dreams in the episode Funhouse.

By Nick Christophers

It is no surprise that such a talented lady like Sofia Milos has accomplished so much in the years she devoted to the entertainment industry. Sofia got her first taste of performing in Italy when she won Junior Lady Italy at fourteen-years old. She would win five titles in one year in modeling and it was only a matter of time that she would branch out to acting. Even though her father attempted to protect her from the crazy world of entertainment it was inevitable she would follow that road. Her father was Italian, and her mother Greek lived in Italy, Sofia was born in Switzerland. After her birth the family would return to Italy where Sofia discovered modeling and acting.

“Choosing to be an actress, is a career that comes with an endless completion of sorts, a lot of hard work, studying, practicing daily, massive necessary vision and big dreams, many rejections, instability, uncertainties, persistence …until you make it and even then, nothing is stable or sure. But so incredibly satisfying. With many lessons learned if not missed. One gets to live many lives, with many points of view and experiences in one lifetime. Pretty fantastic. I’m certainly grateful and have changed a lot since that shy insecure junior lady Italia.”

She has always been attracted to all forms of communication whether it be painting, drawing, artwork, and fashion design. Since 1993 Sofia has been at the acting game. Art in its many forms was something that Sofia always excelled in, and it showed in her work. This was especially true after she performed on stage at the Beverly Hills Playhouse in her early twenties. She was a series regular on the TV comedy sitcom “Café American” which co-starred the popular, Valerie Bertinelli on NBC directed by award winner James Burrows. In addition, she was also a series regular on another sitcom “Caroline in the City” starring Leah Thompson which opened more doors for Sofia in Hollywood and altered her plans of returning to Italy. But it did not change her cultural roots which were Greek and Italian.

Since getting her feet wet in the business she has worked on numerous projects from comedies to drama. In the winter of 2000, an HBO showed called “Sopranos” invaded people’s homes worldwide and would become a blockbuster hit. Sofia would soon find herself casted in one of the most highly acclaimed TV shows of our time. The character she was handed to take over was the lusty, sexy, and dangerous Camorra boss, Donna Annalisa Zucca. Sofia had to educate herself on the role women played in the treacherous world of the mafia / camorra. 

David Chase chose Sofia to embody the role of the powerful and sexy Camorra boss Annalisa Zucca first seen in Naples with the episode “Commendatori “. Sofia immersed herself into that lady boss role by studying “Women in Mafia” a book given to her by director Tim Van Patten. Creating a character that would turn heads internationally for 20 years to date.
Sofia Milos
Sofia Milos in 2009.

For Sofia working with the late James Gandolfini was to say the least an enlightening experience for her: “He was a total gentleman, generous to other artists on set and respectful. Very pleasant. I very much enjoyed working with him and the entire amazing

Sopranos cast. And I’m thrilled to be part of this Sopranos family and that some of us could reunite during the sopranos Con and mob movie Con. Such a great opportunity to meet all the great fans.”

Sofia has been busy lately with many projects on her plate. Prior to the pandemic crashing into everyone’s world she was working on the series “Project Blue Book” that was created by Robert Zemeckis. The series is based on events that occurred during the sixties surrounding classified U.S. Air Force efforts to investigate UFO sightings across the U.S. Her role was of the character Daria through Season 2. There is also the indie film entitled “Fake News” which has yet to be released. She plays opposite Eric Roberts as Detective Jennifer Stern. There are other stars on the project like Marty Kove, Jessie Kove, John Barrymore, and Tori Higginson. She has also had roles in TV shows like “Friends”, “ER” and “Curb your Enthusiasm”.

“It was wonderful that David Chase, allowed me to portray Camorra boss Anna Lisa Zucca , as a feminine even motherly yet ruthlessly powerful and strong woman. Which might be the truth of every woman, if need be, if you remove all cultural, religious, political, or sometime marital oppression. This portrayal I found not only inspired me awonderful female international audience that identified, but it also inspired many of my other roles in my career that followed since, with the same purpose to inspire further.”

As we mentioned earlier Sofia is also of Greek origin her mother is from the scenic island of Kalamata. She also had the opportunity to play a Greek character twice the first being in a sitcom called “Two Something” and then on the show “Criminal Minds” as a Greek cop opposite Gary Sinise and Alana De La Garza.

On the horizon for Sofia are a few projects in the works such as “Made Guys” and “WHITCHBOARD”. Sofia hopes with the improvements surrounding the pandemic she can return to what she does best full-time, entertaining the world!