It’s hard to forget about arguably the greatest show in television history. But with the release of the prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark, The Sopranos is having another moment. It’s a great time to be a fan of the show. Especially since Sopranos‘ alums are popping up everywhere to discuss working on the mob series. The latest spotting was of Steve Schirripa and Michael Imperioli. They joined Seth Meyers on Late Night to promote their new book, Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos. And if this interview is any indication of the stories it contains, it’s a must-read for fans. Because they told Meyers how actual mafia members offered them advice on being an authentic wise guy on The Sopranos.
Fortunately, neither of them wanted to learn how to actually kill someone.
Considering The Sopranos is one of the best-acted shows ever, we doubt the series’ stars needed many tips from outsiders. But that’s exactly what they got from some…uh… “experts.” Schirripa, who played Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri, and Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, shared how they each received advice from actual mobsters about making their characters more realistic.
One time on his way to do laundry, someone offered Schirripa a lesson on how to whack a guy correctly. He very wisely did not accept the lesson. Neither did Imperioli when a mob member said he could teach Imperioli how to properly strangle someone with piano wire.
Again, another very smart pass.
But the funniest story belongs to the show’s leading man, James Gandolfini. The piece of advice he received from the real mob during his time on The Sopranos takes the cake. In the middle of the night, he got an anonymous phone call praising his performance as a mafia don. But it came with one piece of information: “No don would ever wear shorts.”
Considering the advice the other two got, we don’t want to know what would happen to a don who did.