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Far more than just a mobster – Tony Sirico brought sharp, subversive soul to The Sopranos

Paulie was a gangster of the old-school however had hidden depths, bridging the hole between conventional Mafia depictions and the trendy Mob portrayed by creator David Chase. Multi-faceted Paulie might need slept with prostitutes however he was germaphobic and watched TV from an armchair wrapped in plastic. When boss Tony (James Gandolfini) confessed to his crew that he’d been seeing a psychiatrist, Paulie admitted that he’d briefly finished likewise, shrugging: “I had some points.” You do not say.

Maybe Paulie’s most memorable second was collection three episode Pine Barrens, a agency favourite of followers. Successfully a two-hander with co-star Michael Imperioli, who performed Christopher, it noticed the pair stranded in a frozen forest after botching an assassination. Paulie misplaced a idler within the snow. With nothing else to eat, the hapless pair ended up greedily sucking on sachets of ketchup present in an deserted van’s glovebox. Their bickering double act was like a Samuel Beckett play with added weapons and swearing. Imperioli led tributes to Sirico in the present day, saying the 2 actors “discovered a groove as Christopher and Paulie… I am proud to say I did a number of my finest and most enjoyable work with my pricey pal Tony.”

Sirico’s personal story would make a compelling drama itself. Born in New York to an Italian household, he had hyperlinks to the Colombo crime household. He first obtained into hassle when he stole nickels from an area newsstand aged seven. His misdemeanors finally escalated into armed theft, extortion and weapons possession. “The place I grew up, each man was attempting to show himself,” he informed an interviewer. “You both needed to have a tattoo or a bullet gap. I had each.” He was as soon as shot within the leg by a rival felony in a row over a girl however as Sirico later mentioned: “On the time, all I assumed was, ‘F—ing ruined my white go well with.’”


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