Johnny Sack visits Ruder Finn

"And you all want to know why the screen went black!" That's how Vincent Curatola, best known as Johnny 'Sack' Sacramoni on The Sopranos,...

"And you all want to know why the screen went black!" That's how Vincent Curatola, best known as Johnny 'Sack' Sacramoni on The Sopranos, started his conversation with staffers at Ruder Finn in New York on Wednesday. The actor was there for a casual discussion about the advantages of using celebrity spokespeople in healthcare. But while he didn't answer the burning question (he said even the actors didn't know what to expect from the HBO series' finale), he did discuss his passion for promoting healthcare in the US, particularly the causes of death for his parents: breast cancer and kidney failure.

Having worked with organizations including the National Kidney Foundation and the Hackensack University Medical Center, Curatola has plenty of experience working as a spokesperson and said that he, along with his Sopranos friends, can really do a lot to support a cause, from simple appearances and photo ops, to being auctioned off. More information from the event, including a photo and some soundbites from Curatola, after the jump.

"Mainly, it's our presence that generates a lot of awareness," he said, mentioning that the cast of The Sopranos is very close and often attends events together. "What you need is people with a high enough 'recognizability' quotient to drive it through. I'm able to say things and people say, 'Oh, you're that guy. Let's hear what he has to say.'"

Curatola briefly discussed product placement in shows, saying that some companies were reluctant to be featured in a mob-related series.

Gil Pagovich of the Planned Television Arts Entertainment division of Ruder Finn came up with the idea for the informal meet-and-greet discussion, as he has ties to the actor.

"Gil frequently brainstorms informally with our healthcare practice leaders, and he suggested this informal and unorthodox meeting as an innovative way for our healthcare and corporate communications teams to explore the celebrity point of view," said Susan (Hirsch) Goldstein MD of the global healthcare practice for Ruder Finn.

Some soundbites from Curatola:
"Bon Jovi offered to build David Chase a house" for a chance to guest star on The Sopranos.
"I didn't want to audition for The Sopranos."
"I hate New York City – I just don't do well here!"

Kimberly with Vincent Curatola

Vincent Curatola with PRWeek entertainment reporter Kimberly Maul

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