From Gangsters to Governor Cuomo: Michael Imperioli on Playing the Tough Guys

Dec 29, 2018 1186

BY: Bruce Fretts

When Michael Imperioli stars in the finale of Showtime’s historical prison-break drama, “Escape at Dannemora,” on Sunday, his roles will have traversed an almost 30-year arc from one extreme end of the law to the other: from New York gangster to New York Governor.

Imperioli first drew wider attention in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film “Goodfellas,” playing Spider — a harmless mob flunky who winds up on the wrong end of Joe Pesci’s jokes and worse. By the end of that decade, his characters weren’t so harmless. His Christopher Moltisanti, on “The Sopranos,” was ruthlessly brutal from Episode 1, cementing an East Coast moxie that is as necessary in Albany as in the Meadowlands.

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