James Gandolfini and his role in "Violet & Daisy"

In directing his first feature film, “Violet & Daisy,” Geoffrey Fletcher gathered an impressive cast of actors — chief among them, James Gandolfini.

In a lot of ways, Gandolfini, who died this week at age 51, gives the film its heart. He exudes a paternal warmth and a wonderful kindness. His character bakes cookies, for heaven’s sake!

The character is the latest target of a pair of teen-girl assassins — with the twist being he wants to be killed. Because of his compassion and his familial concern for them, though, the two young hitwomen (Alexis Bledel and Saoirse Ronan) grow attached to him.

Gandolfini’s character in “Violet & Daisy” is thoroughly unlike Tony Soprano, and his performance is revelatory.

Fletcher, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Precious” who grew up in Waterford, wrote the “Violet & Daisy” screenplay as well. The movie was released earlier this month.

Fletcher told The Day a couple of months ago this about Gandolfini and his part in “Violet & Daisy”:

“I was honored by how enthused he was about it. Most of our conversations were about who this man was. His performance is a marvel. You’ve never seen him like this before. I suspect he wanted the role because he’s an artist who has many more gears and incredible range.”

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