The Quentin Tarantino Character ‘Sopranos’ Star Michael Imperioli Almost Played

by Jeremy Spirogis
Michael Imperioli in 1995

If you have been a movie fan within the ’90s, likelihood is you caught the breakout efficiency of Michael Imperioli in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990). Long earlier than he tore by North Jersey as Christopher Moltisanti in The Sopranos, Imperioli carved out his path within the business with small film elements.

In Goodfellas, Imperioli performed Spider, a man who works in a bit playing spot serving drinks to Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and his card-playing buddies. Not lengthy after, Imperioli started working for Scorsese within the director’s New York improvement workplace.

While there within the early ’90s, Imperioli landed an audition for a movie being produced by Harvey Keitel, a longtime fixture in Scorsese films. The image would function first-time director Quentin Tarantino.

Michael Imperioli auditioned for Quentin Tarantino’s debut movie

Michael Imperioli in 1995
Michael Imperioli attends “The Basketball Diaries” premiere in 1995. | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection by way of Getty Images

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On the Talking Sopranos podcast (launched April 2020), Imperioli has traced his profession again to its starting within the ’80s. After engaged on Goodfellas, he acquired elements in Lee’s Jungle Fever (1991) and Malcolm X (1992).

If you’re maintaining rating, that made three movies by nice New York administrators in three years. Imperioli saved the run going when he labored on Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction (1995) and Mary Harron’s I Shot Andy Warhol (1996).

By the time he acquired to his Sopranos audition in ’97, he had a face you anticipated to see in New York movies. However, his profession may have taken a number of turns alongside the best way. And it may have shifted shortly after Goodfellas.

On episode eight of Talking Sopranos, Imperioli famous that he truly auditioned for a significant half in Tarantino’s debut image, Reservoir Dogs (1992). Melanie Friesen, Scorsese’s head of improvement, helped make it occur.

Imperioli nearly acquired the ‘Nice Guy Eddie’ function in ‘Reservoir Dogs’

'Reservoir Dogs' film still'Reservoir Dogs' film still
Cast of ‘Reservoir Dogs’: Chris Penn walks fourth from left. | Miramax

Working in Scorsese’s improvement workplace clearly had its perks. In this case, it meant an opportunity to audition for the a part of “Nice Guy Eddie” Cabot, the boss’ son in Reservoir Dogs. Imperioli recalled the audition intimately on the May 18 version of his podcast.

“Harvey Keitel was reading with everybody,” Imperioli stated. “He was at the audition. Quentin was there. Buscemi was there, and I knew Steve already. He was waiting in the hallway. I remember reading, and they taped me.” Apparently, the audition went effectively.

“I think I came pretty close to getting it,” Imperioli stated. “At least that’s what they told me.” Of course, the Nice Guy Eddie function went to Chris Penn, the brother of Sean Penn who died in 2006. (Imperioli recalled being “pretty blown away” by Reservoir Dogs when he noticed it at Sundance in ’92.)

Given the best way Tarantino used so many Reservoir Dogs actors in his later movies, it makes you marvel if Imperioli may have joined that membership. Had he beat out Penn and performed Nice Guy Eddie, it’s pretty straightforward to think about him heading down that path.

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