Hey, Michael Imperioli here. Ask me anything! I just released my first novel and it’s out now! “The Perfume Burned His Eyes” (http://www.akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-perfume-burned-his-eyes/).

You can also catch me with Zach Braff in the new comedy series “Alex Inc.” Wednesday’s at 8:30PM/7:30PMc on ABC.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/swr3rytpudq01.jpg

Comments: 417 • Responses: 41  • Date: 

StateRoute67287 karma

Hey Michael,

I've always wanted to know... how much fun did you and Tony Sirico have while doing "Pine Barrens"? I can't imagine you two not bursting out laughing at some points while shooting that episode.

MichaelImperioli412 karma

we are good friends and had a ton of laughs, especially when bacala shows up in the orange hunting hat

boywhoblocked211 karma

First, just wanna say - HUGE fan. Your conviction in your roles is amazing.

Who was your favorite actor to work with over the course of your career?

MichaelImperioli504 karma

James Gandolfini.

boywhoblocked87 karma

Fully expected this answer. Any stories about him that you care to or can share with us?

MichaelImperioli344 karma

I once surprised him by showing up on the set with Muhammed Ali...Jim was lying in his hospital bed as Tony Soprano and looked up to see "The Greatest" staring down at him. "Holy Shit!" was Jim's reply...will never forget that day

boywhoblocked108 karma

Oh my God - can only imagine this. Thanks for sharing that special memory with us. Can’t wait to dive into your book!

And one final thank you, from all of us fans that you have entertained over the years. May your great work and career continue for a long, long time.

MichaelImperioli122 karma

many thanks

skonaz1111124 karma

Hi Michael, I'm sorry I can't not ask you about The Sopranos. How hard was it to shed Christopher's attitude after a day on set?

MichaelImperioli202 karma

sometimes it would be hard to shake a certain mood of anger or frustration but the character itself i was always pretty good about leaving him on the set.

skonaz111186 karma

Thank you so much for responding! I'm a huge fan so I'm kinda freaking out.

MichaelImperioli113 karma

thank you!

darthjewbacca1138119 karma

Hey Michael, I know, more Sopranos questions, sorry, but here it goes.

  1. Your performance in the scene when Adriana reveals to you that she's been an FBI informant is some of the best acting I've ever seen. Just the look of shock and disbelief on your face says so much. What do you recall about filming that scene, and how intense was it on set?

  2. As a main cast member and recurring screenwriter on the show, did you ever get to provide insight on-set regarding your character (in episodes you didn't write) or anything else? I'm asking cause I know that there wasn't much ad libbing but wondered if you as a writer had any leeway in that regard?

MichaelImperioli168 karma

  1. That was a great and challenging scene as an actor and i figured it was such high stakes that it could hold any level of emotion one wanted to bring to it...and drea is just the best actress to work with 2.there was never ad libbing on the sopranos, the writing was so good it didn't need it! i did not provide insight on the set unless it was a show i had written

Puppyismycat104 karma

You’re an Emmy winning actor. You’re an author. You’re absolutely one of my favorite actors of all time. I have incredible respect for you. What’s something strange or quirky about you that no one would ever imagine?

MichaelImperioli236 karma

i hate watching violence in movies, and am very squeamish

DoctorOfSpaceandTime97 karma

How did you feel about your death in The Sopranos? Did you think it was a good end to Christopher's story?

MichaelImperioli232 karma

i think christopher's death was spot on and very necessary to the story, especially in terms of who tony became...which is, in the end, a vicious criminal

DoctorOfSpaceandTime54 karma

Very true, really spoke to his true character no matter how much he was adored. Best of luck with the book, I look forward to giving it a read!

MichaelImperioli79 karma

thank you !

Jade_Pornsurge92 karma

Is there a small part of you that gets tired of being recognized from the Soprano's? Spider was awesome, too.

MichaelImperioli248 karma

if i were to be remembered by one role i would be happy its the sopranos

glutenfreeeucharist84 karma

Huge fan! I'm re-watching the Sopranos with my roommate, and we just watched the episode where Christopher is stoned at Livia's memorial & talks about how we can't really know if no two people look alike, and it had us cracking up.

That may be my top favorite silly Christopher scene, but which episode/scene was the most fun for you to shoot?

MichaelImperioli118 karma

that scene was very hard to shoot because when the song started playing we all broke out laughing! it took forever to get!...the scene with Lauren Bacall will always be a stand out for me

calmurbreasts64 karma

Michael... i remember reading about you in Nepal driving firetrucks on those crazy twisty roads. Did you actually drive them and was it actaully a harrowing experience?

MichaelImperioli175 karma

this is a charity program that jim gandolfini started, to bring firetrucks to nepal, they have the trucks in the US and they are ready to go...they will be shipped soon to India and i will help drive them (along with acting great Malcolm mcDowell) across the border and into Kathmandu...we hope to do it in the next few months

Shinnick55 karma

You've written screenplays before. Was the process different for you in writing your book? What did you learn from it? Also, do you think you'll write another book?

MichaelImperioli126 karma

The difference between screenwriting and fiction is that a script is really a blueprint for a movie and not an end in itself...whereas a novel is an end unto itself...i hope i do write another book, i have a few ideas but have not started yet

Shinnick24 karma

Thank you for your response, sir. That makes sense since there's less people getting in between your work from when you write your words, to when it makes its way to your audience/reader. I'll definitely check out your book!

MichaelImperioli47 karma

yes exactly !,,,,hope you dig the book!

CollinABullock52 karma

What do you think happened at the end of The Sopranos?

Also, loved Summer Of Sam. Underrated movie. Were you originally planning to act in it as well?

MichaelImperioli122 karma

i think tony dies at the end of the show but that is just my interpretation. i was originally going to star in summer of sam but the sopranos was filming season one at the same time so i was only able to do a smaller role

ya_boy_porter51 karma

Hey Spider! Two questions: 1) As you can tell I love Goodfellas so I have to ask, how was it working with Martin Scorsese? 2) What is your most prized possession, something you've had since even before the Goodfella days that you have and will never get rid of under any circumstance?

MichaelImperioli137 karma

1)Marty was very kind, generous and trusting towards me on the set and really treated me like i truly belonged on that set for which i am forever grateful. 2)My most treasured possession from way back is my sanity which seems to be harder and harder to hold onto.

Enoughmcgruff39 karma

How long did it take you to write your novel? What’s the writing process like for you?

MichaelImperioli80 karma

the book took me the peter part of two years...i write in the morning for between 4 and 6 hours

MichaelImperioli92 karma

sorry that should be "the better part of two years"

btm2936 karma

do you have a favorite story of working with Tony Sirico on the sopranos that you can share with us?

Thanks man!

MichaelImperioli108 karma

i loved being lost in the snowy woods with tony and being forced to survive on ketchup packets!

almondparfitt33 karma

Hi Michael, what music did you listen to while you were writing this book? Thanks!

MichaelImperioli118 karma

Lou Reed, Suicide, T Rex, Mott the Hoople, David Bowie, Dion, Patti Smith, John and Yoko, The Smiths,

MrChocholate31 karma

Who was your favourite guest star to work with on The Sopranos, and why was it Ben Kingsley?

(Sorry, your opinion may differ, but friends and I still look at each other and deliver Sir Ben's "FuuuUuck" semi-regularly.)

MichaelImperioli85 karma

Ben was great but my fave was Julianna Marguiles

Ssoass30 karma


I really enjoyed the show Detroit 1-8-7 and your stint on Law and Order. Was your time on Law and Order pre-determined to be so brief ?and how did you see Detroit 1-8-7 going had the show lasted longer?

MichaelImperioli54 karma

Law And Order was meant to be temporary as I was filling in for my friend Jesse Martin while he was filming the movie "Rent" Detroit 187 was a great show because the writers really tailored the stories to the city itself. The people of Detroit really understood what we were trying to do and they were very much behind the show

Ssoass19 karma

Thanks ... I wish Detroit 187 would have stayed on longer, really good show, my wife and I enjoyed it a great deal and you were a big reason it was so good.

MichaelImperioli22 karma

thank you !

TwoHeadedBoyTwo30 karma

What happened to the Russian you lost in the Pine Barrens?

MichaelImperioli135 karma

i think he is still wandering the pine barrens as we write this

jacobmarley1125 karma

Michael, thank you for your tremendous career. If Tony had not killed Christopher after the car accident, do you think there was any chance at reconciliation between the two characters? Also, if not, do you think Christopher would have attempted to harm Tony eventually?

MichaelImperioli62 karma

I think what happened was exactly what needed to happen so its hard for me to envision an alternate version to be honest

jon33224 karma

Hi Michael,

I loved both the Sopranos and your character. I have recently started watching an Italian series called Gomorrah (which follows a mob family set in southern Italy) and am obsessed with that to.

Are you a mob film/series enthusiast and if so: favourite movie and favourite series?

MichaelImperioli70 karma

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie by John Cassavetes is my favorite mob movie of all time

jumpymcfiggins21 karma

Is your book based on actual events?

MichaelImperioli60 karma

it is not based on actual events but Lou Reed is a character in the book and he did live in NYC in the mid 70s where the book is set

NDaveT20 karma

  1. I enjoyed the one episode of "Girls" you did. Would you work with Judd Apatow, Lena Dunham, or Jenni Konner again?

  2. When you agree to do the Sopranos, were you worried about being typecast as "Mafia guy" from then on?

MichaelImperioli53 karma

i loved doing the show "girls" and would gladly work with any of that team again

i was never worried about being typecast from the sopranos because it was a unique and groundbreaking show

Chtorrr19 karma

Is writing a book something you have always had an interest in doing?

MichaelImperioli47 karma

I have wanted to write a book for many years, have started a bunch but have never finished till now

Throwwzxc17 karma

Will you be in The Sopranos prequel?

MichaelImperioli53 karma

I doubt it. My character was not even born in the late 60s which is when the movie is supposed to take place.

gimp112416 karma

Mad dogs, cancelled?

MichaelImperioli41 karma

Maddogs was only meant to be a one season show

najing_ftw15 karma

Great job as Stu Ungar. What connections did you feel with him?

MichaelImperioli30 karma

I got to meet a lot of people who knew him in las vegas...people who both loved and hated him...he was an obsessive human being and pursued his interests with lots of passion and intensity...i guess i try to do the same

Ssoass9 karma

Out of curiosity, when you were growing up, was there a particular movie or TV series that really stood out to you and made you think "I want to do that"? or any actor(s) that really stand out to you as all time greats in your mind?

MichaelImperioli33 karma

Midnight Cowboy and Dog Day Afternoon probably more than any others

malcontented8 karma

Hey it’s Crist-uh-fuh. Whuddu you lookin at?

MichaelImperioli35 karma

my laptop

[deleted]7 karma

Hi Michael!

I'm a big fan of Christopher with my favourite scene of his in the series being when he goes to rob and punches Lauren Bacall.

I was just wondering if you had any great set stories during your time filming The Sopranos and what was it like shooting that scene with her.

MichaelImperioli33 karma

i had met "betty" bacall many years before in Paris on the set of Robert Altman's "Ready to Wear" and was in awe of her every time I was near her. She was a legend, truly and a class act all the way. Punching her difficult for me but a highlight of my career to be sure!

MichaelImperioli28 karma

No idea how that works

ImNotThatIntoYou12 karma

Thanks for your comment, you made my day, I wish you all the success you deserve with your book, going to order it now!

MichaelImperioli24 karma

thank you !

[deleted]3 karma


MichaelImperioli11 karma

would love to visit japan! Yasunari Kawabata is one of my all time favorite writers!

MoscowInDecember-22 karma

A book title is autistic and exploitative. Are you a poor manipulative?

MichaelImperioli12 karma

The title of my book "the perfume burned his eyes" comes from a lyric of Lou Reed's song "Romeo Had Juliet" off the classic album "New York"