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James Gandolfini once saved The Sopranos guest star Peter Riegert from a nude scene

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After launching their own The Sopranos rewatch podcast Talking Sopranos, Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa reveal more behind-the-scenes details in a new book.

Imperioli, 55, who played Christopher Moltisanti on the hit HBO series, and Schirripa, 64, who played Bobby Baccalieri on the show, co-wrote the new book Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos, which was published earlier. this month.

One of the many stories shared in the book is how the late James Gandolfini saved guest star Peter Riegert from being naked on the show.

New book: After launching their own The Sopranos rewatch podcast Talking Sopranos, Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa reveal more behind-the-scenes details in a new book

Guest star: One of the many stories shared in the book is how the late James Gandolfini saved guest star Peter Riegert from being naked on the show

Guest star: One of the many stories shared in the book is how the late James Gandolfini saved guest star Peter Riegert from being naked on the show

Riegert, 74, portrayed Councilman Ronald Zellman in six episodes of the show between 2001 and 2002.

During the Season 4 episode Watching Too Much Television, a scene in which Tony Soprano of Gandolfini was summoned to the local politician “beat the living s**t” while naked.

The naked beating was intended in retaliation for Zellman’s newfound relationship with one of Tony’s exes, Irina Peltsin (Oksana Lada), but Riegert revealed he was surprised to learn at the table that he would be naked in the scene.

Assemblyman: Riegert, 74, portrayed Councilman Ronald Zellman in six episodes of the show between 2001 and 2002

Assemblyman: Riegert, 74, portrayed Councilman Ronald Zellman in six episodes of the show between 2001 and 2002

“It says in the scene description that he takes my underwear off. We read to the whole table and I wasn’t happy about that,” said Riegert.

Schirripa said, “So it was him pulling down your underwear and beating you?”

Riegert confirmed this was what needed to be done, adding: “I would be naked. As far as I’m concerned, I would have liked to have known that.’

Not happy: “The scene description says he takes my underwear off.  We read to the whole table and I wasn't happy about that,

Not happy: “The scene description says he takes my underwear off. We read this whole table out and I wasn’t happy about that,” said Riegert

Spanked: Schirripa (left, with Michael Imperioli) said,

Spanked: Schirripa (left, with Michael Imperioli) said, “So he pulled down your underwear and hit you a**?”

After the table was read, Gandolfini came to see Riegert, feeling that he was not comfortable with the scene.

‘(Gandolfini) said, ‘How are you doing with this?’ I said, “I’m not happy about this, man. I don’t think you have to humiliate an actor to humiliate a character, and I’m a little upset,” Riegert said, adding that Gandolfini Riegert saw, ‘an actor in trouble.’

After speaking with Riegert, Gandolfini approached series creator David Chase, who co-wrote the episode with Terrence Winter and Nick Santora.

Approached: After speaking with Riegert, Gandolfini approached series creator David Chase, who co-wrote the episode with Terrence Winter and Nick Santora

Approached: After speaking with Riegert, Gandolfini approached series creator David Chase, who co-wrote the episode with Terrence Winter and Nick Santora

“He called David and he explained what I was feeling. David said, “Well, that’s how I wrote the scene,” Rieger recalled, before adding how he reacted.

“I said, ‘David, I think I can play the s**t out of this part and I promise the audience will be shocked by what they see, but you don’t have to humiliate me to get that across.” David said, “Well okay,” and he left,” Riegert added.

Riegert said he wasn’t sure if he’d be fired after holding out, but Gandolfini told him, “Whatever you decide to do, I promise I’ll be behind you.”

Fired: Riegert said he wasn't sure if he'd be fired after he stood his ground, but Gandolfini told him, 'Whatever you decide to do, I promise I'll be behind you'

Fired: Riegert said he wasn’t sure if he’d be fired after he stood his ground, but Gandolfini told him, ‘Whatever you decide to do, I promise I’ll be behind you’

They eventually came to a compromise that was used in the episode, where Tony used a prop belt on the Assemblyman, while wearing tall boxers.

“I said to Jimmy, ‘Listen, this belt is Styrofoam, I let the props man hit me with it, I didn’t feel a thing. You can moan about me,” Riegert recalls.

“So you know what he did? He went to the prop and said, “Hit me with the belt.” Because he wanted to prove to himself I wasn’t making this up,” Riegert added.

Compromise: 'I told Jimmy,

Compromise: “I said to Jimmy, ‘Listen, this belt is made of Styrofoam, I let the props man hit me with it, I didn’t feel a thing. You can whine about me,’ Riegert recalls.

The scene — set to the Chi-Lites’ soft tune Oh Girl — was beloved by fans then and now, for which Riegert Gandolfini is still grateful.

‘I said to (Gandolfini): ‘Do you know the word man?’ He said, “Yeah, I think I know what it means.”

I said, ‘It means human. That’s what it really means. It’s such a big compliment as you can give.” I said, ‘You are human,’ added Riegert.

Gratitude: The scene—set to the Chi-Lites' soft tune Oh Girl—was beloved by fans then and now, for which Riegert Gandolfini is still thankful

Gratitude: The scene—set to the Chi-Lites’ soft tune Oh Girl—was beloved by fans then and now, for which Riegert Gandolfini is still thankful

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