Michael Imperioli
Imperioli in 2007
Born (1966-03-26) March 26, 1966 (age 57)
OccupationActor
Years active1985–present
Spouse
Victoria Chlebowski
(m. 1996)
Children3

Michael Imperioli (born March 26, 1966)[1] is an American actor. He is best known for the role of Christopher Moltisanti in the HBO crime drama The Sopranos (1999–2007), which earned him the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 2004.

In the early part of his career, he played the role of Spider in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas (1990). He went on to play many supporting roles in films such as Jungle Fever (1991), Bad Boys (1995), The Basketball Diaries (1995), Shark Tale (2004) and The Lovely Bones (2009). He received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination for his role as Dominic Di Grasso in the second season of The White Lotus (2022). Imperioli has co-written the screenplay for Summer of Sam (1999) with Spike Lee, written five episodes of The Sopranos, and written and directed the feature film The Hungry Ghosts (2008).

Early life and education

Imperioli was born in Mount Vernon, New York, a working class suburb of New York City. He is the son of Dan Imperioli, a bus driver and amateur actor, and Claire Imperioli, a department store worker and amateur actress.[2][3] His ancestors immigrated to New York City from Lazio and Sicily in Italy.[4]

At age 11, Imperioli and his family moved to Brewster, New York, and in high school he began watching Broadway plays.[2] After graduating from Brewster High School in 1983,[5] Imperioli planned on studying pre-med at the State University of New York at Albany. The night before he was set to begin college, he confided in his parents that he sought to be an actor. At age 17, Imperioli then moved to Manhattan's East Village, where he enrolled at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute to study acting. While there, he met John Ventimiglia, who later portrayed Artie Bucco on The Sopranos, and the two became roommates.[2][3]

In the early 1990s, Imperioli performed as lead vocalist of the New Jersey-based jangle pop band Wild Carnation, departing to focus on his acting career prior to the release of their debut recordings in 1993.[6]

Career

Imperioli in 2005

Imperioli has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards and five Emmy Awards for his work as Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos. He won one Emmy for the fifth season of The Sopranos in 2004.[7]

In addition to his role on The Sopranos, Imperioli has appeared in a number of films, including Goodfellas, Jungle Fever, Bad Boys, Malcolm X, The Basketball Diaries, Clockers, Dead Presidents, Girl 6, My Baby's Daddy, Lean on Me, I Shot Andy Warhol, Last Man Standing, Shark Tale, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story, and Summer of Sam, which he also co-wrote and co-produced. He also wrote five episodes for The Sopranos.[8]

Imperioli served as artistic director of Studio Dante,[9] an Off-Broadway theater he formed with his wife. He is an active member of The Jazz Foundation of America and co-hosted their May 2009 annual benefit concert, "A Great Night in Harlem", at the Apollo Theater, which celebrated the foundation's 20th anniversary.[10] He was a guest on the "San Giuseppe" episode of Mario Batali's Food Network television show Molto Mario. In 2010, Imperioli signed on to play the lead in the ABC television show Detroit 1-8-7.[11] Working with the writer Gabriele Tinti, he wrote the text "Pride" for Tinti's book New York Shots, and participated in a reading of The Way of the Cross at the Queens Museum of Art in 2011.

Imperioli won the Tournament of Stars competition on the cooking show Chopped in 2014, sending $50,000 to his designated charity the Pureland Project, an organization which builds and maintains schools in rural Tibet. In 2016, he guest starred as the angel Uriel on the Fox show Lucifer.[12]

On March 13, 2019, Imperioli was cast in the lead role of Rick Sellitto in the NBC drama series Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector.[13] Imperioli co-hosts a podcast with Steve Schirripa titled Talking Sopranos, which began on April 6, 2020. The two provide inside info as they follow The Sopranos series episode by episode.[14][15] By September 2020, the podcast had reached over five million downloads.[16]

On September 17, 2020, Imperioli and Schirripa signed a deal with HarperCollins book imprint William Morrow and Company to write an oral history of the show;[16] the book titled Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos was released on November 2, 2021.[17] In July 2020, he hosted a show on NTS Radio called 632 ELYSIAN FIELDS, which was inspired by A Streetcar Named Desire.[18] In September 2020, Imperioli provided narration for The Whistleblower, a podcast about the 2007 NBA betting scandal.[19] Imperioli is the guitarist and vocalist for the band Zopa.[20] In 2020, Zopa released their debut album entitled La Dolce Vita.[21] In 2021, Zopa headlined the Freakout Festival in Seattle.[22]

Imperioli portrayed Andrew Cuomo in the Showtime limited series Escape at Dannemora (2018), Angelo Dundee in the Regina King directed One Night in Miami (2020), and served as narrator in the 2021 Sopranos prequel film, The Many Saints of Newark.[23] In January 2022, Imperioli was cast in a lead role in the second season of the HBO dark comedy series The White Lotus.[24] For his performance he received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination. In 2023 it was announced that Imperioli would make his Broadway debut in the 2024 Sam Gold-directed adaptation of the Henrik Ibsen play An Enemy of the People, acting alongside Jeremy Strong and Victoria Pedretti at the Circle in the Square Theatre.[25]

Personal life

Imperioli married Victoria Chlebowski in 1996. They have homes in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and in Santa Barbara, California, and have three children. He and his family are avid practitioners of Tae Kwon Do.[26] In 2008, Imperioli became a Buddhist.[27]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1989 Alexa Acid Head
Lean on Me George
1990 Jacob's Ladder Zeno's Assistant
Goodfellas Spider
1991 Jungle Fever James Tucci
1992 Fathers & Sons Johnny
Malcolm X Reporter at Fire Bombing
1993 Joey Breaker Larry Metz
The Night We Never Met Dry Cleaning Customer #1
Household Saints Leonard Villanova
1994 Touch Base Bennie Short
Men Lie -
Hand Gun Benny
Amateur Doorman at Club
Post Cards from America The Hustler
1995 The Addiction Missionary
The Basketball Diaries Bobby
Bad Boys Jojo
Sweet Nothing Angelo
Clockers Detective 'Jo-Jo'
Flirt Michael
Dead Presidents D'ambrosio
Trouble Ellis Short
1996 Girls Town Anthony
I Shot Andy Warhol Ondine
Girl 6 Scary Caller #30
Trees Lounge George
Last Man Standing Giorgio Carmonte
Blixa Bargeld Stole My Cowboy Boots Johnny Short
1997 Office Killer Daniel Birch
The Deli Matty
River Made to Drown In Allen Hayden
1998 Too Tired to Die Fabrizio
1999 On the Run Albert DeSantis
Summer of Sam Midnight
2000 Auto Motives Stud Short
2002 Love in the Time of Money Will
2003 High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story Stu Ungar
2004 My Baby's Daddy Dominic
Shark Tale Frankie (voice)
2007 The Inner Life of Martin Frost Jim Fortunato
The Lovebirds Vincent
2008 Stóra Planið Alexander
2009 The Lovely Bones Detective Len Fenerman
2010 Love & Distrust Stud Video
2011 Stuck Between Stations David
2013 The Call Alan Denado
Vijay and I Micky
Oldboy Chucky
2014 Foreclosure Bill Landopolous
The Scribbler Moss
The M Word Charlie Moon
Cantinflas Michael Todd [28][29]
2015 Houses -
The Wannabe Alphonse
2018 Cabaret Maxime Bennie Gazza
2019 The Last Full Measure Jay Ford
Primal Paul Freed
2020 Between Wars Sarge
One Night in Miami... Angelo Dundee
2021 The Many Saints of Newark Christopher Moltisanti (voice)
TBA Oh, Canada Post-production

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1994 NYPD Blue Duane Rollins Episode: "Dead and Gone"
1996 Law & Order Johnny Stivers Episode: "Atonement"
1997 New York Undercover Miles Gordon Episode: "The Last Hurrah"
Firehouse Lt. O'Connell TV movie
1998 Witness to the Mob Louie Milito TV movie
1999–2007 The Sopranos Christopher Moltisanti Main cast
2000 Disappearing Acts Vinney TV movie
Hamlet Rosencrantz TV movie
2001 I Love the '90s Himself Episode: "I Love 1990"
2002 VH1 Big Awards Himself/Host Main host
2004 The Five People You Meet in Heaven Captain TV movie
2005–06 Law & Order Detective Nick Falco Recurring cast (season 15), guest (season 16)
2006 The Simpsons Dante Jr. (voice) Episode: "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer"
2007 For One More Day Charley "Chick" Benetto TV movie
2008–09 Life on Mars Detective Ray Carling Main cast
2010 Celebrity Ghost Stories Himself Episode: "Episode #2.1"
Mercy Harold Pindus Episode: "We're All Adults"
The Secret Life of the American Teenager Dr. Ottavi Episode: "The Sound of Silence"
2010–11 Detroit 1-8-7 Detective Louis "Lou" Fitch Main cast
2012 Girls Powell Goldman Episode: "Leave Me Alone"
Necessary Roughness Jimmy Folkes Episode: "All the King's Horses"
2013 The Office Sensei Billy Episode: "Livin' the Dream"
Nicky Deuce The Doctor TV movie
2014 Rake Alberto Rinaldi Episode: "Bigamist"
Californication Rick Rath Recurring cast (season 7)
Chopped Himself 2 episodes
2015–16 Mad Dogs Lex Main cast
2015–18 Hawaii Five-0 Odell Martin Recurring cast (season 5), guest (season 6 & 8)
2016–17 Lucifer Uriel Recurring cast (season 2)
2016–21 Blue Bloods Robert Lewis Recurring cast (season 7), guest (season 11)
2017 Dice Himself Episode: "Fingerless"
2018 Alex, Inc. Eddie Main cast
Escape at Dannemora Andrew Cuomo Episode: "Part 7"
2019 Watchmen Video Testimonial Man Episode: "Little Fear of Lightning"
2019–20 Project Blue Book Edward Rizzuto Recurring cast (season 1), guest (season 2)
2020 Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector Rick Sellitto Main cast
2022 This Fool Minister Leonard Payne Recurring cast (season 1)
The White Lotus Dominic Di Grasso Main cast (season 2)
2024 Kite Man: Hell Yeah! Joe/Moe Dubelz (voice) [30]

Podcasts

Year Title Role Notes
2022 Marvel's Wastelanders: Black Widow Stanley (voice) Main cast (season 3)

Theatre

Year Title Role Venue
2024 An Enemy of the People Peter Stockmann Circle in the Square Theatre, Broadway

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Project Result
1999 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series The Sopranos Won
2000 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2001 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2002 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor - Television Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2003 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
PRISM Awards Best Performance in a Drama Series Nominated
2004 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor - Television Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2006 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Nominated
2007 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2008 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominated
2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam Tiger Award The Hungry Ghosts Nominated
2021 Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture One Night in Miami Nominated
2023 Outstanding Ensemble in a Drama Series The White Lotus Won
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Nominated

References

  1. ^ Today in History By The Associated Press, March 26, 2021
  2. ^ a b c "'Sopranos' Star Michael Imperioli Was on His Way to Pre-Med When Acting Intervened". wsj.com. November 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Inside the Zen Mind of Michael Imperioli". GQ. September 3, 2020. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  4. ^ "Sopranos star Michael Imperioli: 'I thought they were going to fire me'". the Guardian. November 4, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  5. ^ Spector, Joseph (November 16, 2017). "Guess who is playing Cuomo in new Showtime series?". Democrat and Chronicle. Retrieved November 28, 2022. Imperioli, 51, is a Mount Vernon native and 1983 Brewster High School graduate.
  6. ^ "The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli Once Played in a Feelies-Related Indie-Rock Band". The Riverfront Times. April 2, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2023.
  7. ^ Weinraub, Bernard (September 20, 2004). "HBO Is Big Winner at Emmy Awards". The New York Times. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  8. ^ Collins, Simon (May 26, 2019). "Sopranos star Michael Imperioli breaks code of silence on the mafia hit that rewrote TV's rules". The West Australian. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Buckley, Cara; Thomas J. Lueck (September 5, 2007). "Pipe Bomb Shatters the Night Outside a Theater Owned by a 'Sopranos' Actor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  10. ^ Jazz, All About. "All About Jazz". Archived from the original on January 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "Michael Imperioli Nabs Lead in ABC Drama Pilot". TVGuide.com. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  12. ^ Prudom, Laura (August 8, 2016). "'Lucifer' Adds Michael Imperioli as Angel Uriel for Season 2, 'Gotham' Hopes to Tackle Harley Quinn". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (March 13, 2019). "Michael Imperioli To Star In 'Lincoln', NBC Pilot Based On 'The Bone Collector' Books". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  14. ^ "'Talking Sopranos' Podcast Launching In April With Series Stars Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa". deadline.com. February 28, 2020.
  15. ^ "Talking Sopranos". Apple Inc. April 6, 2020. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "'Talking Sopranos' Duo Michael Imperioli And Steve Schirripa Score Book Deal With William Morrow". deadline.com. September 17, 2020.
  17. ^ "'Sopranos' actors pen definitive look at HBO show: 'You're getting it from two guys who were there'". usatoday.com. November 2, 2021.
  18. ^ Radio, N. T. S. "Michael Imperioli 8th July 2020". NTS Radio. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  19. ^ Ho, Rodney; Journal-Constitution, The Atlanta. "'Whistleblower' podcast digs into NBA referee scandal: fixing games, conspiracy and the Mafia". ajc. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  20. ^ "Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti from 'The Sopranos') Released an Interesting, Genre-Defying New Album with His Band, Zopa (Listen)". rockcellarmagazine. August 11, 2020.
  21. ^ Pearis, Bill (June 23, 2021). "Michael Imperioli's band Zopa playing Mercury Lounge". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  22. ^ Pearis, Bill (June 9, 2021). "Seattle's Freakout Fest announces 2021 lineup". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  23. ^ "'The Many Saints of Newark' Led Michael Imperioli to Depressing Realization About His 'Sopranos' Character". hollywoodreporter.com. October 4, 2021.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 5, 2022). "'The White Lotus': Michael Imperioli To Star In Second Installment Of HBO Series". Deadline Hollywood.
  25. ^ "Victoria Pedretti To Make Broadway Debut Opposite Jeremy Strong In 'An Enemy Of The People'". Deadline Hollywood. December 4, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  26. ^ DOBNIK, VERENA (January 28, 2007). "Imperioli: Tae Kwon Do Changed His Life" – via washingtonpost.com.
  27. ^ "Michael Imperioli talks the mob, menopause, and his film 'The M Word'". ew.com. April 30, 2014.
  28. ^ "Cantinflas". September 18, 2014 – via IMDb.
  29. ^ México, El Universal, Compañia Periodística Nacional. "Explotará en Californication".((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (September 14, 2023). "'Harley Quinn' Spin-Off 'Kite Man: Hell Yeah!' Ready to Soar with New Teaser". www.animationmagazine.net. Retrieved September 15, 2023.