When director John Gallagher ( Blue Moon, The Deli) called me and told me he was on the advisory Board of the Soho International Film Festival and that Michael Imperioli would be showing a new film that he wrote and directed called ” The Hungry Ghosts”, I was like, ” Count me in.” Any time I get a chance to see a Michael Imperioli project I jump at it.
Michael Imperioli is a great, great talent and one of the most humble guys in the business. The testament to his talent is how unlike he is to the character he might be best known for, Christopher Moltisanti, Tony Soprano’s nephew in The Sopranos.
I was an ardent Soprano fan, and knowing Michael for quite a while, and always seeing him as a quiet, gentle, introspective kind of person, I was shocked to see how easily he came to playing such a violent character. That’s when I realized what it means to be a talented actor. When you can leave your own personna and actually become the person in the script.
The Hungry Ghosts is a fascinating film, written and directed by Michael, in his directorial debut, and he was joined in the script by four of his Sopranos castmates, Steve Schirripa, who stars as Frank, John Ventimiglia, Vince Curatola, and Sharon Angela.
Steve Schirripa is absolutely fantastic as Frank, a drunk, and drug addict whose life is spiraling out of control, and who can’t seem to be there for the son he loves, and who’s suffering because Frank can’t open up to him.
Other stand-outs in the cast are Nick Sandow and the beautiful, and talented Aunjanue Ellis who I had met previously through director Bill Duke from his movie Cover.
Aunjanue plays a great role in this film, and somehow Michael managed to take four characters, four diverse stories and magically weave them into one story where the characters actually meet in a scene at the end. Very difficult to do, and very well done!
Michael was surprised to see me during the Q&A and I caught up with him afterwards to congratulate him on the film, and to shoot a little personal video with him, which he was kind enough to do. Check it out here!
The movie can be seen on Hulu in it’s entirety at http://www.hulu.com/watch/225008/the-hungry-ghosts