In case you’ve been living under a rock, Drea de Matteo is an It-girl — and has been for quite some time! The Sopranos actress first made waves for her iconic outfits on the 2000s crime show, and has been the inspiration behind the viral “mob wife aesthetic.”

Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about one of Hollywood’s greatest fashionistas. 

Who Is Drea de Matteo?

Drea was born on January 19, 1972, in Queens, New York, and comes from a theatrical background — her mother was a playwright and playwriting teacher who taught at the HB Studio.

The actress obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and originally had plans to become a director. After graduating, Drea acted in a few movies before catching her big break on The Sopranos, such as Meet Prince Charming and M World. In 1996, she made her TV debut in the series Swift Justice.

She officially made her debut in The Sopranos in 1999 as the character Adriana La Cerva, which she was originally rejected from!

Michael Imperioli ; Drea De Matteo
(L-R) Actors Michael Imperioli & Drea De Matteo in scene from HBO cable TV series The Sopranos. (Photo by Anthony Neste/Getty Images)

When casting for the pilot began, Drea auditioned for the role of Adriana La Cerva, but the creator of the series didn’t think she was a good fit. “He was like, ‘You don’t look Italian. You look like a hostess of a restaurant,'” Drea told Vanity Fair in March 2012.

Fun fact: In the pilot, Drea can be seen as an unnamed hostess at Vesuvio.

It wasn’t until the series got picked up when Drea was asked to come back and audition again for Adriana. After changing her appearance, including a “nameplate in diamonds” and more “teased” hair, she landed the role.

What Has Drea de Matteo Said About the ‘Mob Wife’ Trend?

The cast of The Sopranos and viewers celebrated the show’s 25th anniversary in 2024, which led to a resurgence in the series —  prompting many fans to talk about the show’s fashion. In particular, what Drea’s character wore throughout the series.

This sparked a fashion trend on TikTok known as the “mob wife aesthetic.”

When talking about the rise of the Italian fashion movement, Drea told Variety in January 2024, that “All these girls that are getting down with the look are a bunch of bossy bitches. They don’t look like they’re vulnerable, meek women. They seem like they’re more gangster bitches. So, let’s go with the Gangster Goddess.”

Love J-14? Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for fun, exclusive videos with your favorite stars.