Michael Imperioli has revealed the scenes from The Sopranos he found the “most brutal” and “difficult” to shoot.
The actor, who played Christopher Moltisanti in the HBO series, recalled filming his death scene at the hands of Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) in the show’s final season.
“That wasn’t really brutal at all, I’ll be honest with you,” Imperioli told the Guardian. “When we shot it, it wasn’t my last day either because we shot out of sequence.”
The actor went onto explain that the scenes where his character had to be physically abusive to Adriana (Drea de Matteo) were the most challenging.
“The most brutal, difficult stuff for me is when Christopher had to be physically abusive with Adriana, for obvious reasons,” he added.
“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 towards 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.
“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.”
Speaking to Vulture in 2021, de Matteo said her co-star Imperioli struggled with the violent scenes between them.
“He had a hard time with a lot of the violence that season,” de Matteo said. “One time he had to grab me by my hair and drag me across the room using a harness. But the harness broke. I was sitting on the floor and crying, because I’m in the moment, and finally told him, ‘I’m not going to sit here and wait. You’re dragging me by my hair and you’re going to be ok with it.’ He said, ‘I can’t do that.’ And I said, ‘Yes, you can.’ And we did it.”
The Sopranos came to an end in 2007 after six seasons. A prequel film, The Many Saints Of Newark, was released in 2021.
Since The Sopranos, Imperioli has starred in projects like The White Lotus, The Lovely Bones and One Night In Miami.
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