Michael Imperioli has claimed that the most “difficult” scenes to film in The Sopranos were those involving domestic violence.
The actor played the role of Tony Soprano’s nephew, Christopher Moltesanti, on the seminal HBO drama, which ran from 1999 to 2007.
The series featured multiple scenes in which Christopher is shown being violent towards his girlfriend, and later fiancée, Adriana La Cerva, played by Drea de Matteo.
Speaking to The Guardian, Imperioli reflected on filming these scenes, noting that it was easier to film scenes where he was “shooting a mobster or shooting heroin” than comitting acts of violence against women.
“The most brutal, difficult stuff for me is when Christopher had to be physically abusive with Adriana, for obvious reasons,” he said. “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,” he continued.
Imperioli went on to explain that sometimes, filming the sequences would involve the use of stunt doubles, but other times not.
“Even then,” he added, “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 is best known for his role in The Sopranos, and from 2020 to 2021 hosted a Sopranos-themed podcast (Talking Sopranos) alongside former co-star Steve Schirripa.
He recently won acclaim for his perfermoance in the second season of the HBO drama The White Lotus.
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