Michael Imperioli, <EM>The Sopranos</EM> Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos

About a year ago, I found out that Christopher was going to die. [Sopranos creator] David Chase told me. He told me how it would happen, and I thought it was a great idea. It was very unexpected and revealed a really interesting and twisted side of Tony's character.

People think it was unjust of Tony to do that to Christopher. But I think it was good, because it's easy to forget that these characters have a very vicious and ruthless side to them. People fell in love with these guys, especially with Tony — they see him with the family, and they see him being this loyal boss. But there's also this side that is selfish, greedy and violent. I think it's good that when the sun sets, that's going to be one aspect of how he'll be remembered.

We filmed my death scene in the wintertime. You know what I found interesting? The very first time that you ever saw Christopher in The Sopranos, he was wearing a baseball cap and driving Tony. I didn't wear baseball caps much at all the rest of the series. But in the last scene, I'm driving Tony and I'm wearing a baseball cap. I have to ask David if that was deliberate. But I thought it was really funny.

Christopher was a character who evolved over the years on the show. He grew up and matured, and took on lots of different and bigger responsibilities, both in his personal life and work life and his struggles with addiction and recovery. It's sad. When he finally had some kind of normalcy — he had a kid and a nice house, and was really making a go at movies and stuff — it all fell apart.

Toward the end, I think Christopher started to resent Tony having all this power over him. He was very ambitious and very selfish and greedy and probably wanted to be calling the shots and felt he could do better. And I don't think he ever made peace with the fact that Tony had to have his fiancée, Adriana, killed. Even though Christopher gave her up, I think somehow he still blamed Tony. I really do.

The scene where I had to go tell Tony about Adriana was always a very powerful scene for me. James [Gandolfini] is probably one of the two or three best actors I've ever worked with, including Robert De Niro. He never takes any moments for granted, and he's incredibly hardworking and generous.

The Sopranos showed the industry what I could do as an actor and that's brought me a lot of rewards and happiness. It's given me a lot of friends, too. When it became a hit, there was a period of adjustment, definitely. We were thrust into the public eye in a big way. But I have a pretty secure family life, and I try to work a lot. I'm more interested in working than going to clubs and stuff. I'm also old: I'm 41. If this happened to me when I was 21, I'd probably be in rehab.

The series finale of HBO's The Sopranos airs Sunday at 9 pm/ET.

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