David Chase on why he brought Michael Imperioli back for ‘The Many Saints Of Newark’

"That was the maraschino cherry on top"

The Sopranos creator David Chase has opened up about bringing back original star Michael Imperioli for the new prequel film The Many Saints Of Newark.

The actor, who played Christopher Moltisanti in the original HBO series, reprises his role briefly to narrate the opening and closing scenes, the film itself focusing on young Tony Soprano (Michael Gandolfini).

Speaking to NME, Chase admitted that “was not always how the film was going to start”, explaining that Imperioli’s return was to help clear up any confusion for viewers.

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“That was the maraschino cherry on top,” he admitted of the cameo. “That was really nice.

David Chase, creator of ‘The Sopranos’ – Credit: Getty

“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,” Chase further explained.

It comes after director Alan Taylor revealed to NME that original star Edie Falco shot a scene as Carmela that was intended to start the film.

“Not to give away too much but, when you make a movie you’re not exactly sure the final shape it’s going to be and we, believe it or not, shot a few things that included other cast members.

Edie Falco Sopranos
The Sopranos: James Gandolfini and Edie Falco. CREDIT: Allstar Picture Library Ltd. / Alamy Stock Photo

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“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. 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.

“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.”

He added: “There was some confusion as to how best launch the movie. How to start the movie. So we tried a few things and that was one of them. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll see that we begin it in a very different way now but that wasn’t always the idea.”

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

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