Michael Imperioli admits he abused cocaine and alcohol to ‘point where it felt destructive’
Michael Imperioli abused cocaine and alcohol to “a point where it felt destructive”.
The ‘Sopranos’ actor, 57, who played Christopher Moltisanti on the show for its entire run from 1999 to 2007, said he started taking drugs and drinking when his career finally started to take off, and despite being settled with a wife and children.
He told the Sunday Times: “I spent my twenties just trying to have a career, and when finally it happened, I was married, kids, all that stuff, and had satisfying work.
“But I was also abusing drugs and alcohol to a point where it felt destructive. But I was always a functional professional, I didn’t miss work.”
When asked if he meant he was taking cocaine by mentioning his drug use, he added: “Yeah. At first it’s fun, I guess, but then you realise it’s destructive.”
Michael, who has sons Vadim, 26, and David, 22, with his wife Victoria, 57, said he turned to Buddhism after his drug use.
He said finding religion the year ‘The Sopranos’ ended in 2007 was “not a coincidence” as it was an antidote to him feeling lost.
Michael told the Sunday Times his drug use was not like his character Christopher’s heroin addiction, adding: “No, I wasn’t like that. But it was alarming, the kind of loss of will and control.
“You kind of get, maybe in your circles, a little swept up.”
He said about his journey into Buddhism: “I investigated a lot of different spiritual paths, some interesting, some weird.
“But with Buddhism, it clicked. So did Buddhism take me out of the abusive stuff? Yes, but it was also a desire to find something that regenerates your creativity and the way you engage with the world, whereas drug and alcohol abuse diminishes it.”