Michael Imperioli Crashed A Car With James Gandolfini On His First Day Of ‘The Sopranos’

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Michael Imperioli is thinking back on his unforgettable first day on the set of “The Sopranos.”

People shared a preview from an upcoming episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” in which the actor — who played Christopher Moltisanti on the hit HBO show — recalled lying about having a driver’s license, and wrecking a car with leading man James Gandolfini by his side.

“The first day of work, I had to drive him. I didn’t have a driver’s license, you know, but I didn’t tell anybody that because I wanted the job. Because Christopher’s job was to drive Tony,” Imperioli revealed to host Wallace. “But Michael didn’t know how to drive. But I’m like, well, how hard could it be?”

That’s when the day took an unexpected turn.

“I had to drive backwards down the sidewalk with trees on both sides and extras running out of the way. Delivering dialogue to Tony Soprano. Looking forward. I mean, that’s hard to do,” he shared. “Even if you know how to drive, which I do now. I did it, like, four times. The fifth time — boom, right into the tree. The airbags go off, Jim’s head snaps back.”

“It’s my first day I met the guy. There’s smoke, people are running,” Imperioli added. “And I’m like, ‘They’re gonna fire me, man, this is really bad.’”

Nonetheless, Gandolfini had a hilariously unforeseen reaction to the catastrophic mishap. “I look over and he’s laughing hysterically,” the “Goodfellas” actor recalled.

Gandolfini starred as the series’ lead and antihero protagonist, Tony Soprano, who was also Moltisanti’s mentor and “uncle” in the critically acclaimed crime drama. The beloved actor died of a heart attack in June 2013 at age 51.

Elsewhere in the interview, Imperioli opened up about the controversial ending of “The Sopranos” in 2007, which has long been hailed as one of the greatest TV endings of all time.

In the final scene, Tony is seen eating with his family at Holsten’s diner in the wake of a turf war between the New Jersey and New York Mafia families.

As Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” plays on the jukebox, his daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) arrives at the restaurant. However, as the entrance door opens with a bell ringing, the screen turns to Tony, and then cuts to black before the credits roll in silence.

“I’ve gone back and forth. And then I thought maybe it’s just what you see is what you get,” Imperioli explained. “That’s the end of the story. There’s no dying, there’s no what if, there’s no what happened to Tony, it’s just ends right there. I don’t know.”

He added, “It’s mysterious. People ask me that all the time.”

Last year, the show’s creator David Chase finally cleared the air about the mob boss’s fate, telling The Hollywood Reporter that the final product deviated from his original plan to have Tony “coming from New Jersey back into New York for a meeting at which he was going to be killed.”

The upcoming episode of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” premieres Friday on HBO Max. Imperioli is also set to star in the new season of “The White Lotus,” a comedy-drama anthology series, premiering Sunday on HBO.

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