Actor Michael Imperioli Discusses His Debut Novel

Steve Adubato goes One-on-One with Emmy award-winning actor, writer, director and author Michael Imperioli, discussing his debut novel, "The Perfume Burned His Eyes."

12/14/18 #2185






"Welcome to the Tisch WNET Studio here in the heart of New York City. I'm Steve Adubato. But way more important than that, is our honor, our pleasure, to introduce a real artist who's been making a difference for a long time for a lot of people. Michael Imperioli, he's the author of a book called The Perfume Burned His Eyes. Won an Emmy, okay, with the cast of a little show called The Sopranos. Like many others... by the way, people talk all day, in Goodfellas, the scene, I watched it 18 times, just leading up to this. I won't make a big deal, I promise. You're Spider. Joe Pesci, who clearly is stable, did what he did. Shot you in the foot. The whole thing. When that happens, and you're in that movie with those guys, this incredible cast, DeNiro, Pesci, and Ray Liotta, and others, how old were you? 22. Intimidating? Oddly enough, it wasn't. My first experience behind the camera was the year before on another movie called Lean On Me directed by John Avildsen, who did the first Rocky. That was way more intimidating. By the way, who was the director of...? [laughter] Goodfellas? A guy you might have heard of. Martin Scorsese. Yeah. Go ahead. But the first movie the guy... the director wasn't... he was overwhelmed. There was like a thousand kids in this auditorium and it was, you know there were a lot of people in the scene, so I didn't really get a lot of attention, and he was rushed and under pressure, but Marty treated me like an actor, man, from day one. And was just very welcoming, and introduced me to everyone, and said, "If you need anything, you come knock on my door, on the trailer, and you got any questions..." Wow. I mean he really... and he only knew me from the audition. He had never seen anything I had done. I hardly had done anything at the time. But he just had so much respect. And so did the other actors. For the craft? He treated me like an actor. Which he didn't... you know, he didn't have to do. But I think that's what his genius is, because that's how you get a good performance. You make somebody feel comfortable, you make them feel relaxed, so they feel... so they can open up and be creative and take chances, which is what you want to have. It's real talent. And he did that for me. By the way, Michael wrote five episodes of The Sopranos. He's a writer. He's, as I said, an artist, a director. This book, The Perfume Burned My Eyes. Set the scene for us. In 1970...? ...76. Go ahead. There's a 16-year-old boy named Matthew, who lives in..."