Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.) plays a key role as the antagonist frenemy in Many Saints of Newark, but is the character in the original TV series?
Warning! SPOILERS for The Many Saints Of Newark
In The Many Saints of Newark, Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.) has a commanding presence throughout the story as Dickie Moltisanti’s (Alessandro Nivaro) increasingly troublesome frenemy — but is Harold in the original Sopranos HBO TV show? As a pivotal character in the events portrayed in The Many Saints of Newark, his future activities between the prequel movie and the hit TV show of the 2000’s naturally draw intrigue, as it’s made clear at the end of the film that Harold not only survives but seems to be on the rise in the world of organized crime.
During the introduction of Harold’s character, it’s clear that there’s history between Harold and Dickie, the leading mobster protagonist of The Many Saints of Newark. Throughout the movie, especially as racial tensions reach a boiling point in ’60s and ’70s New Jersey, Harold goes from being one of Dickie’s close associates to a rival mob boss — one who takes out several of Dickie’s fellow mobsters and henchmen while also having an affair with Dickie’s Italian mistress. No doubt, the schism between Harold and Dickie is intended to represent a greater shift between white and black America following the culture-shifting Civil Rights Movements of the ’60s. With the reconfiguration of polite society, regarding new attitudes towards race, also comes a reconfiguration of the criminal underworld, as manifested in Harold and Dickie’s violent arch-rivalry.