“Apparently it’s so clear that kids love that movie,” he added. “Isn’t that extraordinary? They like that, and they like Khonshu.”
But Abraham still considers himself a creature of the theater. He has been a regular in the plays of Terrence McNally, including “The Ritz” (made into a film, starring Abraham, in 1976). He played Roy Cohn in “Angels in America” on Broadway. He hated the man, but the role taught him a valuable lesson: Don’t worry about being liked. If you’re playing a bad guy, make him bad.
For Abraham, the theater is like a love affair that never ends.
“Eight times a week, you get to do it again and again,” he said. “If it’s bad, then that’s horrible. But when it’s good, there’s nothing like it. It’s like really good sex: Give me more.” He paused. “I sound like Bert.”
Imperioli, who also comes from a theater background but is best known for his roles in “The Sopranos” and “GoodFellas,” found a friend and kindred spirit in Abraham. On off days in Sicily, they would organize impromptu rehearsals with DiMarco and sometimes Richardson.
“We would just read the characters and talk about them,” Imperioli said in a video interview. “He has this command of craft, yet also this incredible depth of soul and truth and honesty. It’s a combination that I very rarely have seen, and I’ve never seen it come to fruition as it does in Murray.”
Abraham and Imperioli ended up getting Covid-19 at the same time, confining them to their hotel rooms. “I had such a bad sore throat I couldn’t even talk,” Imperioli said. “And I could hear Murray upstairs doing his vocal warm-ups every day. Singing. This is an 82-year-old guy with Covid.” Abraham has memorized more than 50 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, which, as Imperioli observed, he recites regularly to keep his memory sharp.