A.J. Galante Peels Back Curtain On Netflix’s ‘Untold: Crime And Penalties’
Forbes recently caught up with A.J. Galante, breakout star of the smash-hit Netflix documentary Untold: Crime and Penalties, to peel back the curtain a bit more on the well-received episode of the riveting sports docuseries.
Galante, who was gifted the UHL (minor league hockey) team by his father, Jimmy, surprised Netflix’s audience that hadn’t heard the story by helming a competitive club through two seasons as a 17-year-old team president and general manager. A.J. led the Trashers to Round 2 of the UHL playoffs in the 2004-05 season and the finals in 05-06.
One of the doc’s most compelling reveals is the possibility that HBO’s iconic series The Sopranos is based on the Galante family. What makes the idea worth exploring is Jimmy’s waste management business and mob ties and “A.J.” also being the name of Tony’s son in The Sopranos.
“Look, where I’m from I think there’s a lot of people that see a lot of parallels with themselves, there’s like a million guys that think [the Sopranos are] based on [them] probably,” Galante told Forbes via Zoom. “I get it, especially with the son being A.J., which personally I’d rather be compared to Meadow Soprano than A.J. Soprano, but I mean I understand.
“If you think long enough you can point, ‘Oh, that’s awkward, that’s a coincidence… But no, I heard it; it’s not like David Chase came over and said, ‘Hey, guys let’s work on this script.’”
Another standout moment from the doc was the home video footage of A.J.’s 11th birthday party, which happened to include appearances from WWE superstars “The Rock” and “Triple H”. Following the poolside party, the video kept paying dividends as “The Rock” and “Triple H” saw their careers flourish.
“Especially my mom, every time we see a trailer with him in it to this day, she’s like, ‘He was in our backyard,’” A.J. said. “And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I know. It’s weird. Right?’
“Even Triple H is one of the biggest guys in WWE now, obviously behind the scenes. All these guys (at the party) went on to have huge careers in and out of the ring. With ‘The Rock’, now especially with this documentary, most of the messages I get are, ‘Oh, can I talk to The Rock?’ I’m like, ‘I haven’t seen him in 20-something years. I’m not like friends with him.’ They were both great people.”
As much fun as teenage A.J. seemed to have as the GM and president of the Trashers for two seasons in the documentary, one may not help but wonder if looking back he felt he missed anything during his crucial teen years.
“That’s a great question, I never got asked that. Looking back, I wouldn’t change anything,” said Galante after reflecting for a moment. “It was the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s such a humbling thing now that this story just for whatever reason won’t die.
“I’m glad I took a leap of faith. I owe it to my father, he’s the visionary. I get a lot of attention because of my age, but frankly my father was a guy who always put me in a position to succeed. We’ve always had that relationship, even to this day.
“And yeah, there were times going to the rink for three days in a row… it’s a grind. Not to mention, I had school, I had reports, papers to write and it took it’s toll. But ultimately, it was an experience [where] a lot of my friends ended up in the doc, they made little cameos.
“Just to be able see us together and for them to be excited, it was so nostalgic honestly because it was a team, it was a family thing, all of us. Anyone who bought a ticket, whether it was once… I don’t care if it was an usher, we all made history together. So no, I don’t have any regrets, but it was different 100 percent. It was a different situation.”