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Why Michael Imperioli returned for ‘The Many Saints Of Newark’

With Sopranos fans finally rewarded for their patience with the release of The Many Saints Of Newark in cinemas and on streaming, the show’s creator David Chase has opened up about bringing back series favourite Michael Imperioli for the new prequel. 

Playing Christopher Moltisanti in the original HBO series, Imperioli reprises his character in the brand new film if only in a voice role, narrating the opening and closing of the film that focuses on the upbringing of a young Tony Soprano. In a conversation with NME, the show creator explained that the choice was made to involve Imperioli in order to settle viewers into the brand new world of Newark. 

Speaking to the publication, the creator stated, “We first undertook it to clear up possible confusions and to help people understand where they were – where’s Newark, who are the criminals, who’s that guy, is that Silvio… we’re getting a lot of that”. 

The inclusion of Michael Imperioli for the brand new film came after word from the director of  The Many Saints Of Newark, Alan Taylor, that originally star Edie Falco was due to open the film and reprise the role of Carmela. As the director explained, “We had Edie come in and she dressed up as Carmela and we shot something with her and it wound up not being in the final movie but it was a great excuse to see her again”. 

Elaborating, he stated, “She’s so ridiculously talented and she’s also one of these people who – and it seems to frequently be women – that manage to be perfect actors and also the sanest people you’ve ever met in your life”.

Comparing the actor to one of the Coen brothers longtime collaborators, he adds, “I think Frances McDormand is like that and Edie Falco has that same quality of being like a solid, good, sane person. It was good to see her again”. 

The Many Saints Of Newark is out in UK cinemas now worldwide.

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