Here's Lorraine Bracco, psychiatrist to Tony Soprano in HBO's hit The Sopranos, analyzing her deep-rooted, abiding attraction to Paris. Born
in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, she went to Paris in 1973 for what was supposed to be a month-long modeling assignment. With one taste of a café au lait and croissant on her first morning, she fell in love with the city forever. "I ended up staying 10 years," she says, modeling, producing French television, acting in several European films, and even hosting her own Radio Luxembourg talk show. But in 1983, her family called her home, and she returned to New York, determined to move back to Paris as soon as possible. Back home, her plans changed when she landed a breakout role in Someone to Watch Over Me, with Tom Berenger. That was followed by her Oscar-nominated turn as a mob wife in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. After a host of other roles, Bracco became a Sunday-night staple as Dr. Jennifer Melfi on HBO's critically acclaimed The Sopranos. This month, you can also see the actress in the big-screen comedy Riding in Cars with Boys, co-starring Drew Barrymore. But the role to which she'd most like to return is that of a Parisian. Here's a weekend in the City of Light with Lorraine Bracco.
"I would stay at the Hôtel Duc de Saint Simon, right near the Rodin Museum. It's a quaint hotel, with the feeling of a bed and breakfast. I lived across the street from the hotel for a while, so when I go back, I stay there. Later, when I went over to make a movie, I stayed at the Hôtel Raphael. It's right behind the Champs-Élysées. It has a great bar, which is a nice place to meet people and have a drink. The rooms are old and French with creaky floors and big windows. It's nice because they haven't modernized it. The bathrooms are huge and have fabulous dressing rooms. Very, very lovely."