For Millennials. By Millennials.
If you’ve been following our articles on Tony Sirico, then you’ll know that he is the real-life Paulie. He was a real-life gangster and lived a very colorful life. However, he was very touchy about his character Paulie too. So much so that he would not let Sopranos writer Terence Winter kill Paulie, or else he’ll kill him (it was a joke)!
Tony Sirico would not let the writers kill Paulie
In the recent episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa invited Sopranos writer Terence Winter as a guest. He told them a lot of interesting stories about stuff that went on at the show behind the scenes. However, the funniest of them was obviously about Tony Sirico. He revealed that on his very first day, Sirico warned him to never kill Paulie:
We used to tease Tony Sirico about killing him. First thing Tony Sirico ever said to me, literally on day one, I’ve said this before, he said, ‘You’re the new writer? Let me tell you something’. He goes, ‘if you ever write a script where I die,’ he goes, ‘first I die, then you die’ (says laughingly). Because I’m telling you, don’t f*cking think about killing me.
Of course, it was a joke. But, the writers knew that Sirico was very touchy about this topic. So, what they would do was make fake scripts and left it around Sirico just to tease him:
And, you know every once in a while we would type up a phony script page that had Paulie dying and leave it around and he got wise to that for a while.
And this is just one of the many funny things that Tony Sirico did on and off the show.
The real-life Paulie
If you haven’t read up on the very colorful life of Tony Sirico, then you’re missing out on a lot. Apart from leaving the life of crime, he also featured on the cover of a porno magazine. And once, Sirico even gave THE Jimi Hendrix a wedgie when he was a bouncer at a club. While shooting the Sopranos, he was even paranoid enough to think that he would be the target of an Anthrax attack!
When talking about his life on The Sopranos, Tony Sirico was the only actor to have the script changed. This was because he was not willing to become a ‘rat’ (snitch) on the show. He was, in fact, okay with being a psycho, but never a rat. I guess that’s just one of the few remnants of the mob life left in him.