For Millennials. By Millennials.
The stories from the life of Tony Sirico are endless. Of all the characters in The Sopranos, he truly was Paulie Walnuts in real life. He was a real-life gangster, womanizer, germaphobe, and basically a lot like Paulie Walnuts himself. But, did you know that he was once scared that he might be the target of an anthrax attack? It’s true! And he went to great lengths to protect himself.
The anthrax attack scare!
In the latest Talking Sopranos podcast, Michael Imperioli, who played Christopher Moltisanti, revealed some interesting stuff about Tony Sirico. He revealed that Paulie thought he’d be the target of an anthrax attack! Imperioli recalls:
So, after 911, a couple of years later, there was this anthrax scare. Somebody was mailing anthrax to newscasters in 30 Rockafellar Center NBC Headquarters in New York City. And Tony was convinced that he was next.
I mean, who in their right mind would want to kill Paulie Walnuts? But, Paulie was convinced someone would try, as Imperioli says:
I guess in his own mind he thinks if you really want to bring down Western Civilization, you go after Brian Williams and Tony Sirico is next on the list.
Moreover, Tony Sirico is a germaphobe, just like Paulie Walnuts was from The Sopranos. Therefore, he went to great lengths to make sure he was clean. And by lengths, we mean microwaving your own mail! Michael Imperioli confirmed this, saying:
So, what he did was he had his assistant bring his mail from the mailbox with rubber gloves. He brought his mail and, this is true, put the mail in the microwave for a few seconds. ‘Cause I guess somehow he figured the microwaves would neutralize the anthrax and make it not poisonous. But what actually happened is the mail went on fire and burnt up in the microwave.
And that’s how Paulie Walnuts protected himself from an anthrax attack – by burning his mail and a fire hazard. But, if we’re being honest, that is totally something that Paulie would do, and he did. Of course, he did a lot of other things too.
Tony Sirico – The real-life Paulie Walnuts
Of all the cast of the Sopranos, it’s Tony Sirico who was exactly like Paulie Walnuts in real life. For example, he used to be a gangster, and during those days once even gave Jimi Hendrix a wedgie! I wish I was joking, but it’s true and it was revealed by Michael Imperioli on the Talking Sopranos podcast. Moreover, he once even featured on the cover of a pornographic magazine.
However, when it came to acting, Tony Sirico was very dedicated to Paulie Walnuts. In fact, he was the real-life Paulie in every sense. For instance, he was one of the few actors on The Sopranos to have altered the script, because he was not willing to be called a rat or a bully. And if we’re being honest, Paulie Walnuts would definitely burn his mail in a microwave to be safe from an anthrax attack.