Could you imagine being incredibly intoxicated to the point that you got chained to a tree?
For The Sopranos – Michael Imperioli, and the late James Gandolfini – that apparently became a reality. While filming a cliffside scene for the show, the duo had a little too much to drink beforehand. As a result, they had to be chained to a tree.
In an interview with Insider, fellow costar Steve Schirripa, who was promoting his Sir Kensington’s partnership, revealed that the actors had drunk whiskey before shooting the episode for the fourth season where Tony Soprano (Gandolfini) and Christopher Moltisanti (Imperioli) throw fellow gangster Ralphie Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano) off a cliff.
“On the break, while they set up the lights, Michael and Jim [Gandolfini] drank a bottle of Wild Turkey,” Schirripa told the outlet.
He added that the actors were “so drunk” they had to chain their legs to a tree because they thought they were going to “fall off the cliff.”
In a March episode of their podcast, Talking Sopranos, Imperioli and Schirripa discussed this behind-the-scenes moment.
Tony and Christopher fly to upstate New York to dispose of Ralphie’s body after Tony strangles him to death in the season four episode Whoever Did This, as Schirripa mentioned prior.
Ralph was suspected of starting a stable fire that killed Tony’s prized racing horse, Pie-O-My, and the mob leader confronted him about it before executing him.
He then summons Christopher to assist him in dismembering the body, and the two toss Ralph’s remains into a quarry later that evening.
In his continued chat with Insider, Schirripa also spoke about his future book with Imperioli.
The book, titled Woke Up This Morning, will be released in early November and is billed as a history of the highly acclaimed HBO drama.
The upcoming feature film The Many Saints of Newark, scripted by the show’s creator, David Chase, is also worth noting for Sopranos enthusiasts. The film depicts Gandolfini’s son Michael as a young Tony Soprano growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s and 1970s.