People- Michael Imperioli made quite the first impression on the set of The Sopranos. In an exclusive preview of the new episode of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?, the 56-year-old actor recalls lying about having a driver license and getting into a car crash with the series lead James Gandolfini. "The first day of work, I had to drive him. I didn't have a driver's license, you know, but I didn't tell anybody that because I wanted the job. Because Christopher's job was to drive Tony," he tells host Chris Wallace. "But Michael didn't know how to drive. But I'm like, well, how hard could it be?"
In today's version of Sopranos news from 20+ years ago we have a fantastic story coming from Michael Imperioli about a car crash with the man himself on literally his first day of shooting which must be TERRIFYING. You're a struggling actor for years on end, was in Goodfellas in 1990 and not much else of notoriety until you get an HBO pilot probably 7 or so years later only to see your first day on call requires you to do something you can't do which is...drive?
Now I'll admit I'm no Ricky Bobby in my own right. But by my calculations, Imperioli had to be about 30 years old during this. You GOTTA learn how to drive just a little bit if you're around 30 and that's coming from a guy who drives solely to his favorite deli & back once a week. Luckily our sweet, sweet king didn't seem to mind though.
However, the scene didn't go exactly to plan for Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, Tony's protégé and member of the DiMeo crime family, on the hit HBO show.
"I had to drive backwards down the sidewalk with trees on both sides and extras running out of the way. Delivering dialogue to Tony Soprano. Looking forward. I mean, that's hard to do," he admits. "Even if you know how to drive which I do now. I did it like four times the fifth time. Boom, right into the tree. The airbags go off, Jim's head snaps back."
"It's my first day I met the guy. There's smoke, people are running," he adds. "And I'm like, 'They're gonna fire me, man, this is really bad.'"
Meanwhile, Gandolfini — who died of a heart attack in June 2013 at age 51 — had an unexpected reaction to the incident. "I look over and he's laughing hysterically," the Blue Bloods star recalls.
First off there was absolutely no reason for People to include randomly when Gandolfini passed away in there, though that just goes to show his amazing character as he laughed his ass off at some kid literally crashing him into a tree on the first day of shooting with the air bags going off and all. Imagine that happened to ole Bill Murray or Chevy Chase? Production probably would've been shutdown. But Gandolfini just laughed it off. That's our president.
And that was a nice little feel good Sopranos story for you on this beautiful Thursday afternoon.