An Interview with Mike Memphis, who played "Elvis" in The Sopranos
How'd you find out you'd gotten the role on The Sopranos?
Well, from a phone call from my agent, but I had a good feeling they liked me, because after the call back audition, I was headed to the elevator, and David Chase had someone come out to get me, she said "Mr. Chase wants to see you again" I knew I had to of done something right, So when i go back in the room, I did the scenes over again. I knew they had to of liked something I did, so I didn't change a thing. I think it was my neurotic playing of the character, but then out of nowhere I turned on the Elvis shtick when I said to pussy "I'll see you around baby." I had heard that too many guys tried auditioning as Elvis, but the role was not for Elvis, it was for an Elvis impersonator, so I played it that way and it worked!!!!!!
How has working on The Sopranos altered your life?
Truthfully it hasn't. It's gotten me more work, more recognition, even a photo in the new Soprano book, but I'm still the same person I was before. It hasn't Catapulted me to fame and fortune, but that doesn't matter, I'm so very grateful to have been a part of the show, and to have been picked out from among many others. I'd like to thank everybody who believed in me. There are a lot of jealous guys out there who critiqued my performance, all I can say is I got the role and you didn't, that means I was the best one for the role.
Tell us your favorite Soprano memory?
I'd have to say for the Soprano premiere at the Zigfield Theater in NYC David Chase and his wife said hello to me, and Mrs. Chase says to me "You know any connected guys in Dover "? I was shocked! She knew my lines! Then Mr. & Mrs. Chase both complimented me on my part. It was extremely flattering! Then soon after James Gandolfini said, "Hey Mike, everybody loves you, they thought you were great." None of those people have to say anything they don't want to, so to take a moment to say something like that means a lot to me, and I'd like to thank them all! Also I'd like to give a big thanks to Vinny Pastore and Louie Lombardi, they're both great actors, and great people, it was nice working with them, my best to you guys always!
Do you have any similarities with you character Jimmy Bones?
Well, we both are Elvis impersonators, but it ends there. He was in a toy store with a blow-dried Elvis hairdo, I never style my hair unless I'm at a gig, he seemed like he lived that lifestyle, complete with sunglasses, Jewelry, whereas I'm a totally different person during the day, however I do know when an Elvis hairstyle might get me recognized and I would do it, even if I wasn't working, but that's RARE!
What made you choose to become an actor?
I've been entertaining since I was a teenager, I started doing standup comedy and impressions, and it just grew from there. so as acting auditions came along, I'd take them, and eventually got my Sag card, then soon after i got into Aftra, and as the saying goes, the rest is history, to where I am now, which is keep pursuing the acting roles. fans can see a lot more of me at my website http://www.mikememphis.com
What role would you most like to play?
I'd love the chance to play a really bad guy someday, such as a murderer or serial killer, I'm extremely heavily tattooed and have multiple piercings, coupled with the Elvis look it can be a real interesting character, a renegade Elvis runs rampant!
What is in your future?
Well, more success hopefully. I continue to do my Elvis gigs at corporate events and such, and to keep on pursuing more acting roles, but as long as I'm working, I consider my self successful.
What is something people would be surprised to know?
There’s a lot more tattoos on me then you can see!
How would you describe yourself?
Outgoing, shy, soft-spoken, out spoken, funny, and loyal.
How would others describe you?
I don't know, you'd have to ask them
Do you use Internet/favorite sites?
Sure I love surfing the web, my favorite sites are Sopranoland, Sopranosue and my own, http://www.mikememphis.com
Anything else I would like to tell soprano fans?
I'm in the Allen Rucker book "The Sopranos" if anyone ever sees me and would like me to sign my picture, don't hesitate to ask, I'll sign it "Jimmy Bones" too! and I never charge for it like some times happens at conventions, especially a soprano fan, so just
Soprano Sue's Sightings ©2005
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