Michael Gandolfini It's Exciting to Step into My Dad's Shoes

2/5/2019 8:56 AM PST

James Gandolfini's Son Michael Says He's Excited to Fill Dad's Shoes

EXCLUSIVE

James Gandolfini's son couldn't stop grinning ear to ear at the thought of playing his late father's most iconic role, and his smile says it perfectly -- Michael Gandolfini's up for the challenge.

Michael spoke to Adam Glyn while out in NYC Monday night -- hanging out with "The Deuce" star Chris Bauer -- and talked a little bit about the upcoming 'Sopranos' prequel. Michael's playing young Tony Soprano in "The Many Saints of Newark."

It's easy to see why Michael got the role ... for starters, the resemblance is uncanny. And, he reportedly beat out stiff competition because he mastered his father's iconic character's mannerisms. Can't beat the genes, baby!

Awesome to see Michael carry on James' legacy. As we reported ... James died of a heart attack in 2013 while on a boys' trip with Michael in Italy.

Check out the clip ... Michael's got Boss written all over him.