This story is part of I'm So Obsessed (subscribe here), our podcast featuring interviews with actors, artists, celebrities and creative types about their work, career and current obsessions.
Thirteen years after the final episode of The Sopranos aired on HBO the show has found a new popularity with an entirely new generation of viewers binging it during the pandemic. To guide them through the world of New Jersey mobster Tony Soprano, cast members Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, better known as Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Bacala, respectively, host a weekly podcast called Talking Sopranos. The two break down a single episode of The Sopranos and share new insights and untold stories about working on the iconic series.
Talking Sopranos is now one of the most popular shows on Apple Podcasts. Imperioli and Schirripa were my guests on CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, where they explained what it was like rewatching The Sopranos and attracting a new fanbase.
"I haven't seen the show in 20 years. It's all new," said Schirripa. "Obviously, Jim Gandolfini and Nancy Marchand and numerous actors are no longer with us. So as great as it is to see and as much fun as it is. It's also bittersweet."
"We always had our fans that watched it when it was first on the air and had Sopranos parties on Sunday nights and made pasta and ordered pizza and they grew older with us," said Imperioli. "A whole new generation of fans have become obsessed with The Sopranos and people in their late teens and early 20s. And some of them were not even born when the show was first on the air."
Other Sopranos alums like Lorraine Bracco who played Dr. Melfi, Edie Falco who portrayed Carmela Soprano and Vinnie Pastore who played Big Pussy, stop by Talking Sopranos as well as writers, directors and designers. During our conversation, Imperioli and Schirripa discussed the legacy of James Gandolfini and how he prepared to play Tony Soprano.
"At the beginning of the season, if he [Gandolfini] had been away for whatever amount of time, I remember he said to me, 'Let's go down to Little Italy (where those kinds of guys were around) and have dinner.' I want to start getting back into that world a little bit," said Schirripa.
Imperioli, who won an Emmy Award for his role on the show, opened up about what it was like being both an actor and writer on The Sopranos. Imperioli and Schirripa also shared their favorite character names from the show and discussed the amazing costumes, including tracksuits and the increasingly large hair wings on the character Paulie Walnuts.
Listen to my entire conversation with Imperioli and Schirripa on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. For more about Talking Sopranos and new episodes, check out the Talking Sopranos website. You can subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.