The tip of 2022 noticed the lengthy awaited return of the now iconic HBO drama The White Lotus, and introduced with it Michael Imperioli again to viewers’s screens. The actor, broadly recognized for his long-standing position as younger gangster Christopher Moltesanti on The Sopranos, has now re-cemented himself as one of the gifted actors of our time.
Imperioli has additionally written and/or starred in a myriad of initiatives, from indie movies with some Sopranos castmates, like On the Run and Cabaret Maxime, to wildly profitable initiatives like DreamWorks Animation Studio’s Shark Story. Though his breakout position was in 1990 because the younger gopher Spider who mouthed off to Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Imperioli has made small cameos right here and there in many alternative productions. From two fully unrelated characters named Jojo to a goofy karate sensei, listed below are Michael Imperioli’s finest cameos, ranked.
10 Watchmen (2019) — Video Testimonial Man
In an alternate universe the place a large squid killed half the folks in New York in a surprising catastrophe within the eighties, modern-day take a look at audiences in Watchmen‘s fifth episode watch a “post-squid assault” commercial to return to New York. Individuals inform the digital camera of all the explanations they returned to New York after the catastrophe: the reveals, the character, the low crime price. On the finish of the advert, a delightfully acquainted voice is heard raving concerning the Italian meals. When Imperioli’s acquainted face fills the display, he is sitting in entrance of a warmly lit deli (it isn’t Satriale’s of The Sopranos fame, however it would possibly as properly be). Sinatra croons as Imperioli wryly explains how they eat squid nowadays: “with lemon, and somewhat marinara.” He brings a considerably chilling familiarity to the advert set in a fictional timeline — a beloved staple encouraging folks to hitch him.
9 The Basketball Diaries (1995) — Bobby
When Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jim enters the hospital room the place Imperioli’s Bobby is staying, the vitality is darkish and miserable. Younger Bobby has been preventing leukemia for the final two years, and he is one of many final ties to future addict Jim’s youthful innocence in The Basketball Diaries. Jim presents Bobby with a basketball signed by their staff, and the 2 actors masterfully carry to life two teenage boys having a seemingly mundane dialog — the one out-of-place element being that Bobby is a bald teenager who seems like he is 60. Though his time on-screen is temporary, Imperioli’s efficiency packs a robust punch. Via his straightforward laughter and quiet sensitivity, it is simple to see why Jim trusts Bobby together with his poetry, his secrets and techniques, and his true self.
8 One Evening in Miami (2020) — Angelo Dundee
In Regina King’s movie directorial debut One Evening in Miami, 4 Black male powerhouses of their fields — singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), boxer Cassius Clay, to be renamed Muhammed Ali (Eli Goree), activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), and sports activities analyst Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) — come collectively on a fateful February evening and discover the load of being influential position fashions within the top of the Civil Rights Motion on this movie tailored from the unique play.
Imperioli makes temporary appearances all through the movie as Clay’s boxing coach Angelo Dundee, who was instrumental in Clay’s coaching, in addition to that of fellow champions George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard. Imperioli’s Dundee is a no-nonsense, “stick with the script” form of coach, serving as a foil to Clay’s want to make use of his clout to make a major distinction. The actor dances alongside a troublesome line with talent, honoring the skills of a real-life boxing coach whereas making him a transparent, but in some way likable, antagonist.
7 Unhealthy Boys (1995) — Jojo
The primary within the Unhealthy Boys franchise stars Will Smith on the tail-end of his Recent Prince run, and Martin Lawrence nearing the tip of his Martin run. Imperioli seems as Jojo the tire man, a considerably pitiful, wide-eyed tire salesman within the unlucky place of getting data Smith and Lawrence’s characters are determined to get. It is a uncommon position for him, as he is not the wiseguy shaking down a mark for cash, however the poor sap getting shaken down — and he shines much more so for it.
6 Witness to the Mob (1998) — Louie Milito
Within the yr earlier than The Sopranos premiered, it appears that evidently Witness to the Mob served as a form of audition tape for a number of future Sopranos actors, from Vincent Pastore to Frank Vincent. Imperioli joins this checklist as Louie Milito, pal and confidant (for some time) to protagonist Sammy Gravano, performed by Nicholas Turturro (John Turturro’s brother and fellow actor). It is clear why Imperioli’s skills have been acknowledged on this efficiency, as audiences see his arc clearly alongside Sammy’s, showcasing his means to painting the extreme, risky shifts in complicated mafia relationships.
5 The Secret Lifetime of the American Teenager (2010) — OB/GYN
In an admittedly stilted and uncomfortable scene, Imperioli seems as Dr. Attavi on the third season of The Secret Lifetime of the American Teenager. A pregnant teenage Adrian and awkward teenage father Ben meet Attavi of their workplace, and Ben reveals that his father is the Sausage King (performed by fellow Sopranos alum Steven Schirripa, leading to an lovable tongue in cheek impression of Schirripa from Imperioli). Younger Adrian clumsily flirts with Attavi as she tells him about all of the complicated drama that resulted within the being pregnant and her boyfriend not talking to her. He deflects her cringe-y advances with a joke, informing them that if folks not talking to one another was the worst that occurred, their highschool was nothing like his (maybe one other reference to the Sopranos, whereby the drama was, properly, homicide and violence).
4 Clockers (1995) — Detective Jojo
Clockers tells the story of Detectives Rocco Klein (Harvey Keitel) and Larry Mazilli (John Turturro), roping drug vendor Strike (Mekhi Phifer) into serving to them resolve a homicide. Imperioli seems as fellow detective Joey Thompson. The place Imperioli’s Jojo in Unhealthy Boys was a sufferer of wiseguys roughing him up, Detective Jojo is a wiseguy on the opposite facet of the legislation. Imperioli spends a lot of this film pulling methods a lot the identical as Christopher Moltesanti in The Sopranos, besides as a substitute of ending up with stolen items that fell off a truck in New Jersey, he busts drug sellers and rounds up informants. It is a twist on the basic, and Imperioli supplies his signature mixture of attraction and aggression that solely he might obtain.
3 Malcolm X (1992) — Reporter at Hearth Bombing
It is by no means straightforward for an actor to shine when partnered in a scene with the legendary Denzel Washington, and even much less so when he is giving arguably among the finest performances of his profession as civil rights chief Malcolm X. In his lower than 60 seconds on-screen, a younger Imperioli manages to carry his personal as a reporter sheepishly asking a quietly seething Malcolm X questions on what he thinks brought about the hearth in his dwelling. That is much less of a cameo from Imperioli and extra of an “I knew him when,” because the 1992 biopic premiered just some years earlier than his pivotal position as Christopher on The Sopranos, however it’s abundantly clear that Imperioli was already paving his method as a scene companion with powerhouse actors of their time — glorious follow for holding his personal with James Gandolfini.
2 Ladies (2012) — Powell Goldman
Whereas not the one gifted visitor star on this explicit episode of Ladies (Parks and Rec and Nice North actress Jenny Slate’s Tally Schiffrin steals the present as Lena Dunham’s outdated rival who says issues like writing her e-book was like “water birthing her fact”), Imperioli definitely stands out as Powell Goldman, who was once Tally and protagonist Hannah’s writing professor. His flowing salt and pepper hair make everybody blush, not simply Hannah, particularly contemplating how uncommon it’s to see Imperioli as a captivating mental who deeply cares about Hannah’s writing profession fairly than a violent, risky mobster.
1 The Workplace (2013) — Sensei Billy
With an excellent ensemble solid like The Workplace, visitor stars wanted to know when to play the straight man and when it was their time to take the highlight. Imperioli proves his comedic chops as Sensei Billy, Dwight (Rainn Wilson)’s new karate teacher who presents him together with his long-awaited black belt. Whereas Dwight and his ludicrous show are the centerpiece of Billy’s scenes, Imperioli finds the nuggets humor in his few strains and delivers them wryly and quietly in signature The Workplace model. When Dwight insists he watch each transfer he makes like a toddler speaking to his mother or father on a playground, Imperioli matches that vitality precisely, swearing up and down that he is watching like an exasperated but affectionate mother or father.