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"Godfather of Harlem": Vincent D’Onofrio says Chin is "dangerous" in final

Throughout Godfather of Harlem Season 3, there has been one name on everyone’s lips: Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante.

Vincent D’Onofrio’s Italian American mobster has been a menacing figure since the show began in 2019. However, Chin was largely absent from the newest season. He was sent to prison after his daughter Stella (Lucy Fry) called the Feds on him at the end of the second season.

Despite this, Chin wasn’t far from the minds of characters like Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker) or Stella. She was put under the protection of gangster Joe Colombo (Michael Raymond-James) on her father’s orders.

Chin returned in a big way in Episode 9 of the MGM+ drama. Now he is out for blood against Colombo, who has taken over his turf in Harlem in his absence, and even made a move on Stella. D’Onofrio told Newsweek about his return to the franchise, and also teased what was in store in the crime drama’s finale.

The Season 3 finale sees Chin and Bumpy join forces against Colombo and José Battle (Yul Vazquez), whom Bumpy had tried to work with throughout the season but had betrayed him for a deal with the CIA.

Determined to take Harlem back, the former rivals hatch a plan to prevent Colombo and Battle from bringing in a shipment of heroin, cocaine and weapons into the city.

D’Onofrio reflected on the rivalry between Chin and Colombo. He said how he felt it was a “good” approach to his character’s arc in the season because he was able to be there only for a short time.

“I was gone because of other work, but I’m a very close friend with the showrunner, Chris Brancato, so we were able to sort [it] out,” D’Onofrio told Newsweek.

“He’s a great writer and he was able to figure out a way to keep me in the show, because I love doing it and I’ll continue to do it, I think. So he figured out a way in the last two episodes to bring me out of prison I think it worked really well.

“I was very excited to come back. The cast is so amazing, and it’s just a really fun show to be on because of the caliber of the actors,” D’Onofrio said. “Everyday is a pleasure to work with these actors.”

Of Chin’s arc, specifically, he added: “It was important that, when he’s released, he’s released in the middle of some kind of conflict or drama.

“That’s what Chris [Brancato] is really good at. So, I thought it was a good idea to put Colombo and Chin against each other, so to speak,” D’Onofrio said.

“I thought it gave my character a really good chance to re-establish himself in the way that I created the character, to have him come back full-on in character: dangerous and emotional.”

However, D’Onofrio was particularly impressed by the way in which Bumpy and Chin are driven not by a shared desire for power but by their collective need to defend their daughters.

“It could have been done a lot of different ways. I think that Chris picked a very good way to do it where you feel like there’s no question that something has to be done,” D’Onofrio said. “It has to be done on Bumpy’s side, and it has to be done on Chin’s side. Otherwise, everything’s going to collapse, and their two reigns of power are going to collapse. That will cost people’s lives, maybe their families’ lives, their friends lives.

“It’s good that what brings them together basically are the two daughters and what’s happening to them, which I think is pretty awesome,” D’Onofrio added.

Chin is determined to protect Stella, while Bumpy is keen to get revenge after the CIA tried to threaten him by forcibly injecting his daughter Elise (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy), a former addict, with heroin.

In an exclusive clip from the finale shared with newsweek, Chin even offers to bring Stella into the family business. He was impressed with the ideas she had when working with Colombo while he was away in prison.

“Years ago, in a script, in a show, the daughters would have had very little to do with the drama,” D’Onofrio said. “But, these days, writers are not allowed to do that. They have to write for women, and it’s incredible to be on a set where finally that happens, and so I think that it was perfect.

“I think that there’s a lot of listening, there’s a lot of forgiveness, and there’s a lot of fury that comes from what was done behind their backs and the double-crossing, and the greed,” D’Onofrio added.

“You know, it’s a show, so you’re romanticizing these people,” he went on. “In reality, they were cold killers but, because it’s a show, it romanticizes it a bit. They kind of have that Robin Hood aspect to them that doesn’t really exist in real life.

Throughout Godfather of Harlem Season 3, there has been one name on everyone’s lips: Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante.

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