For Millennials. By Millennials.
We all know how Tony Sirico was one of the most colorful characters on set. Honestly, some of the things that guy has done throughout his life make him nothing less than a legend. But, as it turns out, he was one of the few actors in The Sopranos to have the script changed for himself! And it had to do with his character Paulie Walnut.
Sirico did not want Paulie to become a rat or a bully
In the Talking Sopranos podcast, Michael Imperioli and Steven Schirripa explained how Tony Sirico was very sensitive about his character Paulie Walnuts. Schirripa recalls:
Tony Sirico in real life, would always say, ‘I’ll never play a rat’.
And then, Imperioli shared with us a little story about Sirico. He revealed that Sirico was one of the very few actors who were able to change the script of The Sopranos, even when they weren’t his lines. Imperioli said:
One of the only times an actor influenced a change in the script, and it wasn’t even their lines. So Debbie says Makazian didn’t like Paulie. He said Paulie was a psycho. In the original script, he said he didn’t like Paulie. Paulie was a bully.
When Sirico read that Paulie Walnuts looked like a bully, he was horrified. Sirico wasn’t okay with Paulie being a rat or a bully, but was completely fine with him being a psycho! Imperioli further said:
Tony Sirico read that and was horrified and was very angry that Paulie was labeled a bully and went to I guess Renzulli, maybe David (Chase), and said Paulie’s not a bully. I don’t like this and really against it so they took it into consideration, thought about it, and said ‘how about psycho?’. And Tony Sirico said ‘fine’.
This might be because Tony Sirico was a gangster. In that life, being a rat is the worst thing possible. But, maybe after leaving that life, he was also disgusted by being a bully. However, Tony Sirico had done some crazier things in his life outside of The Sopranos. Like, giving Jimi Hendrix a Wedgie or spending 2.5 hours doing your hair, or featuring at the cover of a porno magazine!