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The Transformation Of Michael Imperioli From The Sopranos To Now

Like his character Christopher Moltisanti on "The Sopranos," actor Michael Imperioli has a rich and ever-evolving list of hobbies and interests. From music to screenwriting, Imperioli has kept himself busy since the acclaimed series went off the air in 2006. He informs his fans of his passions via Instagram, where he frequently posts about the writers, musicians, filmmakers, and playwrights that he loves — a sampling of some of his favorites includes Ottessa Moshfegh, Billie Holliday, John Cassavetes, and Tennessee Williams. You get the sense that Imperioli's life post-"Sopranos" is just as artistically enriching as his time on the show, if not more so. 

The actor has always had side projects going, even while he was filming "The Sopranos" from 1999-2006, and his current life feels like a continuation of this trend. "I'm always one who generates a lot of my own work, you know, I don't just sit around and wait for Hollywood to f**king call me and give me a job," he told Another Man Magazine in 2020. 

Instead of devoting all of his energy to replicating the success of his work on the series, Imperioli has explored multiple artistic fields, regardless of commercial success or recognition. While he continues to work steadily as an actor, with roles in films like "One Night in Miami" and the NBC show "Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector," Imperioli has a running list of hobbies and side-hustles that range from the ordinary to the unexpected. Here's what the actor's been up to since The Sopranos ended.

Post-Sopranos, Imperioli went post-punk

Christopher and Adriana's (Drea de Matteo) careers as music producers may have been short-lived — remember when Christopher nearly forced a band to do drugs so they could bring more energy to their recording? For Imperioli, however, music has long been a part of his life. For anyone who follows Imperioli on Instagram, it's clear that the actor's musical taste is wide-ranging and eclectic. 

He cut his teeth as a young actor in New York in the late '80s and '90s, where he became fascinated by the downtown art and music scene, specifically the punk and no wave movements. He counts musicians like Lydia Lunch and the Pogues' Cait O'Riordan as friends, and his own band, Zopa, still performs (virtually). You can hear the influence of some of Imperioli's favorite bands like The Smiths and The Pixies in their songs. The band's EP La Dolce Vita is available to listen to on the group's bandcamp page, if you're interested.

Imperioli is making waves on the radio

Imperioli has also tried his hand at radio — from podcasting to DJing. His most prominent project at the moment is probably his popular podcast "Talking Sopranos," which he hosts with his former HBO co-star Steve Schirripa, aka Bobby Bacala. Together, the two actors go through the show episode by episode, offering their own commentary on the famed series from an insider's perspective. 

The podcast has been a hit among fans young and old. Imperioli says he felt he wanted to speak to the newer devotees of the show — younger people who are just now discovering this gem from HBO's golden age. "To be honest, I never would have thought a young generation of people would just turn on to the show," he told Another Man. "It's very surprising, very pleasant. It makes me very happy."

In addition to his forays into podcasting, Imperioli has turned to DJing as another way to express himself. He was the guest DJ on NTS Radio in July 2020, where he spun a selection of tunes inspired by the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire." The show featured tracks like Cat Power's "Rockets" and the B-52's "Give Me Back My Man." He returned to NTS Radio on April 20, 2021 for the station's benefit for the Global Foodbanking Network, and we can imagine he'll be spinning more tracks in the near future.

The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti

Imperioli has had slightly more success as a screenwriter than his onscreen counterpart. He even wrote five episodes of The Sopranos. He got his start in screenwriting as the co-writer on Spike Lee's "Summer of Sam" — not bad for his first writing credit. But Imperioli doesn't only flex his writing muscle for film and television. An avid reader of both poetry and prose, Imperioli published his first novel, entitled "The Perfume Burned His Eyes," in 2018. 

The novel is a coming-of-age story about a teenage boy from Queens who moves to Manhattan, where he befriends Lou Reed and his transgender girlfriend Rachel Humphreys. According to an interview with GQ, he hopes to one day adapt the novel into a movie, with himself starring as Lou Reed, of course. Imperioli has also collaborated with the poet Gabriele Tinti. He even performed a reading of Tinti's poetry at the Queens Museum in 2013.

A Buddhist life, and a return to HBO

In 2008, shortly after "The Sopranos" ended, Imperioli turned to Buddhism and has been practicing ever since. The actor initially felt like there was something missing from his life, and he apparently found it somewhere along the Eightfold Path.

"I had a lot of great, positive stuff," he told GQ. "I had a great family and kids and friends and great work, satisfying work — but there's a spiritual component to us as human beings and it needed addressing." 

Imperioli taught his first meditation class in August 2020 as a result of the inquiries he would receive after posting about Buddhism on Instagram. Now, he's teaming up with Emmy Award-winning writer Alec Berg ("Seinfeld," "Barry") to translate his experiences as a Buddhist to television. While few details are available about the show or when it's set to premiere, it will be a "blend of fact and fiction," according to Variety, and will undoubtedly be filled with countless idiosyncratic elements of Imperioli's rich post-"Sopranos" life.