Michael Imperioli Came to a Realization About His 'Sopranos' Character

'The Sopranos'Credit: HBO
Some of us are still mourning Christopher's death. 

If you watched The Many Saints of Newark, then you know the whole movie is narrated from Christopher's point of view from beyond the grave. The actor behind Christopher Moltisanti, Michael Imperioli, said recently that it was not a hard choice to come back. 

“For me, it was something of a no-brainer,” Imperioli told the Talking Sopanros Podcast. “It makes sense for the movie. I like the idea of using the voice from beyond the grave.”

So how did Imperioli deal with coming back to such a beloved persona after all these years? 

“It was fun revising the character, but extracted from the show—actually disembodied is a better word,” Imperioli said on the podcast. “It was definitely different because so much time had gone by and there was an abstract nature to doing the voiceover, which is different than playing him. When you’re playing him, so much of it is him bouncing off the other characters, like Tony (James Gandolfini) and Adriana (Drea de Matteo).”

It was certainly weird watching the movie and just hearing a voice, while only seeing baby Christopher in a few scattered scenes.

Imperioli had to reconcile how this story unfolded retroactively based on the character he already played, as well.

"Dickie is a mobster and criminal, you can’t deny that—but he seems like a good guy. There are some noble qualities to him. I imagined him before the movie as more like Christopher, more hot-headed, but he wasn’t. He was a more composed character, which made me think that a lot of Christopher’s defects and addictive-compulsive nature actually came from not having a father.”

The kind of realization is interesting to see from so far away. And it lends itself to how well written a show like The Sopranos could be, that the creators might understand it more than the people living as the characters. For Imperioli, he started to realize that even after his character was born, he was doomed from the start. There was no escaping this world.

He said, “It made me think that Christopher was doomed from the start, from birth. It is almost like it is imprinted in his genetics.”

I found this interview a must-see for fans of the show and of the movie. It really put into context the way the actors, like Imperioli, saw their characters. And how the show creator David Chase and director Alan Taylor worked to provide context to some of the show's most famous secrets, like who killed Christopher's dad, and how Junior hurt his back. 

Have you seen the film? Let us know in the comments.     

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2 Comments

Started watching Sopranos for the 2nd time a few days ago! Loving it all over again.

October 24, 2021 at 8:39AM

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Louis Websdale
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This was one of my favorite movies.

October 27, 2021 at 3:36AM

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