Filming certain scenes for “The Sopranos” was very hard for Michael Imperioli.
The Italian actor – who portrayed Christopher Moltisanti on the hit crime-drama – recently shared that it was “brutal” when he had to be physically abusive on the show.
“The most brutal, difficult stuff for me is when Christopher had to be physically abusive with Adriana, for obvious reasons,” Imperioli told The Guardian. Imperioli’s character was in a relationship with Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo).
“On a technical level, you’re trying to be really careful so you don’t hurt the person. But having to get to that point of violence toward a woman, you have to go to some nasty places to get there. Sometimes it’s very immediate. Sometimes it’s something present in your life that you can tap into. Sometimes you have to go someplace from the past. And sometimes you have to go to someplace imaginary,” he continued.
The “White Lotus” star added, “It’s much easier shooting a mobster or shooting heroin. That stuff to me is not difficult. But that stuff with her was. Sometimes you’ll use stunt doubles, sometimes not. And even then, it’s one thing to choreograph and rehearse it, then when you act it full-tilt with all the emotion, it’s easy to not have as much control as in the rehearsal. So you really have to be quite careful.”
Imperioli was a main character during all six seasons of “The Sopranos.” His character, Christopher, narrated the prequel film, “The Many Saints of Newark,” that was released in 2021.
In his interview with The Guardian, Imperioli shared that James Gandolfini, his late “Sopranos” co-star, was one of the best on-screen partners he’s ever had. Gandolfini played mob boss Tony Soprano on the hit series.
“He’s probably the actor I’ve acted the most with,” Imperioli told the outlet. “He always put in 110%. He managed to find the intensity and the reality in every moment. That pushed you further.”
Gandolfini died during a vacation in Rome with his family on June 19, 2013. His son, Michael, found him unconscious in his hotel bathroom. Paramedics rushed the actor to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead from a heart attack.
At the time of his passing at the age of 51, he had received 19 acting awards and over 50 nominations, including three Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards for his role in the “Sopranos.”