James Gandolfini And Michael Imperioli Once Got So Drunk Filming ‘The Sopranos’ They Had To Be Tied To A Tree

In what absolutely sounds like a sentence uttered after some audience interaction on Match Game 77, James Gandolfini was once so drunk people desperately tied him to a tree on the set of the Sopranos so he didn’t fall off a cliff.

As IndieWire detailed, Michael Imperioli was also involved thanks to the precarious filming details of a pivotal scene in Season 4 of the HBO drama. Imperioli does the Talking Sopranos podcast with Steve Schirripa, who, during an interview with Insider, retold a story from the filming of “Whoever Did This” where (mild spoilers) Tony and Christopher need to hurl a body off a cliff.

The problem was that they were filming at night, near a real ledge, and it was taking a while to get things right. So they started drinking.

The production required the two actors to stand close to the edge of a cliff, which was made risky because they were inebriated.

“On the break, while they set up the lights, Michael and Jim [Gandolfini] drank a bottle of Wild Turkey,” Schirripa said. “They were so drunk that they had to chain their legs to a tree, because they were afraid they were going to fall off the cliff.”

Given the strong pivot toward green screens and risk reduction in Hollywood these days (unless you’re Tom Cruise filming Mission Impossible, I suppose) there’s something refreshing about this slightly dangerous behind-the-scenes story about filming on location. Thankfully everyone got the shot they needed without incident, but it’s very funny to imagine the powers that be needing to break out the chains to keep two stars safe because they accidentally had a bit too much Wild Turkey to be trusted near a ledge. Happens to everyone.

[via Insider]