Michael Imperioli has revealed that his Sopranos co-star James Gandolfini would blast Green Day’s album “Dookie” in his trailer to get ready for work. The Sopranos is considered one of the greatest TV dramas ever made. Debuting on HBO in 1999, the show focused on Gandolfini’s New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano and his attempts to deal with anxiety and depression while running his criminal organization.
The show made Gandolfini a global star, a status he found difficult to deal with, often claiming in the rare interviews he gave that he was just a regular guy from New Jersey. He seemed to enjoy playing up his tough-guy image, and reportedly tried to beat up Harvey Weinstein, the convicted rapist and movie producer. Despite his humility, Gandolfini was, in fact, one of the finest actors of his generation, giving emotional depth to the character of Soprano throughout the show’s six-season run. Tragically, Gandolfini died in 2013 at the age of 51 after suffering a heart attack while on vacation in Italy.
Now, Imperioli, who memorably played Soprano’s protege Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos, has revealed that Gandolfini was fond of blasting the pop-punk band Green Day in his trailer. Imperioli was responding to a comment on an image of him and Gandolfini signing a guitar at a charity event, which asked what kind of music Gandolfini liked. Imperioli responded with Green Day, to the consternation of another commenter. Imperioli responded that he wasn’t joking, adding that Gandolfini would blast the vinyl of “Dookie,” their smash hit 1994 album. You can see the exchange below.
It’s hard to imagine Gandolfini, the burly 6-foot 1-inch actor, dressed up in his mob boss wardrobe listening to the teenage angst pop-punk tunes of “Dookie.” However, Imperioli is clearly not joking, which makes sense since there was a vast gulf between Gandolfini’s public persona and private image. It is amusing, though, to think of the gruff, balding actor smoking a cigar and listening to Green Day on set while reading through a script in which he has to beat someone senseless.
The surprising fact doesn’t detract from Gandolfini’s legacy. In fact, it probably enhances it, as it reveals just how incredible his performance as the violent mob boss was. The fact that it is so difficult to believe that Gandolfini would listen to Green Day is a testament to just how well he embodied Tony Soprano. Fans are almost unable to distinguish between the real man and his on-screen persona; further proof that Gandolfini’s role in The Sopranos was one of the best ever to be put on screen.