Michael Imperioli is revealing that the most difficult scenes for him to film for projects are the ones that involve violence toward women.
In an interview with The Guardian, published online Thursday, the actor noted that it was particularly hard when his Sopranos character, Christopher Moltisanti, was violent toward his fiancée Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo) on the Emmy-winning series.
“The most brutal, difficult stuff for me is when Christopher had to be physically abusive with Adriana, for obvious reasons,” he explained. “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.”
Imperioli added that while it can sometimes be “very immediate” to get to that headspace for a scene, other times it’s finding “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.”
Although occasionally they will use stunt doubles, The White Lotus actor noted that it’s always challenging going from rehearsing those scenes to filming the actual take.
“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,” he said. “So you really have to be quite careful.”
Imperioli finds it easier “shooting a mobster or shooting heroin” for a scene, saying, “That stuff to me is not difficult.”
Throughout his acting career, Imperioli has taken on several violent scenes, especially in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film Goodfellas. In the infamous gangster movie, his character, Spider, was murdered by Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito.