Comments: 605 • Responses: 39 • Date: 2012-07-09 18:05:42 UTC
JohnVentimiglia458 karma2012-07-09 20:09:00 UTC
PMing you now.
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JohnVentimiglia231 karma2012-07-09 19:34:16 UTC
Just mementos from the show. I used one to dress up as Ali G for Halloween one time.
JohnVentimiglia224 karma2012-07-09 18:54:47 UTC
Thanks for the kind words.
Yes, they did let me keep a couple of things. The bell that Artie used to ring when the food was ready. A giant wooden spoon. A menu from Vesuvio. The robe Artie was wearing when he shot the rabbit. Four Artie chef jackets. Also, two of Big Pussy's jumpsuits and a red jacket that belonged to Richie.
They started about eight days, but towards the end they could take up to two weeks.
When Benny shoved Artie's hand in the pot. I did burn my knuckles on the bottom of the pot the first two times. Then they turned the flame off, and used dry ice.
Michael Imperioli and I met in acting school when he was 17 and I was 19. We were very close then, and remain close today. Steve Schirrippa and I are very often in touch. Steve Buscemi and I took in a show the other night. Loraine, Tony Scirocco, Aida, etc.. Really, we all have a bond now that will never be forgotten.
A lot of eating. There was a group of us that would go out together at night. We went to each others birthday parties, baptisms, funerals.. Some of us got to travel together. We were like a family.
JohnVentimiglia201 karma2012-07-09 18:11:14 UTC
I thought it was the first time that you saw someone being killed on film, from the inside. Usually in a ganster film, you see them get shot, fall down and die. In this, we were all such a part of Tony, that in my opinion, David let us be part of Tony's death. Lights out. End of Story.
Ponies is a movie about three immigrants that are betting together at an OTB, off-track betting. It's based on a play, and an interesting take on the American Dream. It's an interesting study of the society we find ourselves living in sometimes through well-drawn characters.
JohnVentimiglia179 karma2012-07-09 18:37:58 UTC
Whenever somebody meets me, they usually tell me how much different I am, or how much younger I seem in person. But of course, I posses some of the same qualities as Artie. Basic human things like occasionally short-tempered, occasionally over-dramatic, and a part of me is very traditional. I am, after all, Sicilian.
I created Artie out of a composite of three influences -- 1) The landlord in Godfather II who can't get out the door when he realizes that DeNiro is the Don. 2) One of my uncles. 3) My grandfathers mustache.
JohnVentimiglia157 karma2012-07-09 19:47:29 UTC
Sometimes, Artie wanted what he couldn't have. Mid-Life crisis.
JohnVentimiglia151 karma2012-07-09 18:32:15 UTC
Nobody told me. Not the writers or the producers. I think they wanted to leave it for ourselves. And that was what I decided.
Among the cast, there was a lot debate. Some thought it was a beautiful ending, and some disagreed.
JohnVentimiglia130 karma2012-07-09 18:43:23 UTC
I'm cool with traditions.
JohnVentimiglia116 karma2012-07-09 18:31:05 UTC
Among many favorite memories, one comes to mind where Tony was meant to slap Artie, and they had a stunt person working with us on how to do a fake slap for the camera. When we took a break, Jimmy and I were having a cigarette, and I turned to him and I said "Why don't you just slap me." And he laughingly said "I knew you were going to fuckin' say that".
Of course, at the time. I didn't take into account how many times he was going to have to slap me -- and his hands are big and heavy. The first time he slapped me, my head bounced off the column in the restaurant. But it was worth it.
JohnVentimiglia110 karma2012-07-09 18:27:35 UTC
Yes. My parents are both from Sicily. I grew up helping my mom cook in the kitchen, and when I moved out, she taught me a couple of basic things I need to know...which I still cook for my kids
One of my favorites was the food fight that Tony and I had. I hit him with a piece of prosciutto and he hit me with a mozzarella ball, which bounced off my head. From there, it just turned into two kids having a fun food fight.
Here's my thoughts on the ending.. The only way I could interpret the ending, is that Tony was shot and killed. After all, he was a human being involved in a business in which this was not an uncommon event. I think that David chose to end it that way, out of some kind of dignity for the character. And also to let us take part in what it's like which I would assume is often instant blackout. It was a clean kill, and for all of us fans, it seemed like a merciful way to say goodbye.
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