Tony Soprano Shudders?

03/27/1998 at 12:00 AM EST

James Gandolfini, 39, who plays godfather Tony Soprano on HBO's three-year-old hit series "The Sopranos," says that the violence on the show appalls him -- enough to want to leave the series after next season. In an interview with Britain's Daily Telegraph, the actor even went so far as to say, "I don't think I will do a Mafia character again. I want to get away from the violence a little bit, because it is starting to bother me personally." At the end of last season, Soprano was forced to whack his best friend, who, it was discovered, was wearing a wire for the Feds. "I can't believe it when people ask me to come and talk to their kindergarten class," Gandolfini told the Telegraph. "It boggles my mind." Contacted by New York's Daily News, an HBO spokeswoman (HBO, like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner) declined comment on the actor's remarks. She did say, however, that series creator David Chase has said he is still weighing whether or not to continue with a fifth season.

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