“The Sopranos” creator David Chase revealed to Vulture that Tony Sirico was the only actor to ever request a line change during the show’s six-season run on HBO. Sirico, who died on July 8 at the age of 79, played mobster Paulie Walnuts on “The Sopranos” and quickly became a fan favorite due to his blunt and deadpan humor.
“I will say, Tony was part of one of the greatest casts of all time,” Chase said. “It was certainly the greatest cast I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with some incredible casts. But he was the only one who ever asked me to have a line changed. And I did it.”
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According to Chase, Sirico asked not to have Paulie be referred to as a “bully” in one scene. “Another character was talking about Paulie, and they said he was a bully. Tony didn’t like that,” the creator said. “He asked me to take the word ‘bully’ out of there. And I did.”
“I don’t recall [what I changed it to]. The important thing is, he didn’t like that word. He didn’t like it at all,” Chase added. “I wonder if [his past had] something to do with why he was so sensitive about it. Maybe he had been a bully as a young man. I’ve seen a picture of him as a young man standing out in the street next to a parking meter with a tank top on. Flexing his muscles, you know. He looked the part.”
Chase is one of several members of “The Sopranos” family to honor Sirico in the days following his death. Cast members Michael Imperioli, Lorraine Bracco, Jamie Lynn Sigler and more all paid tribute to the late actor on social media.
“Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone i’ve ever known,” Imperioli wrote. “I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs. We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten.”
Head over to Vulture’s website to read Chase’s remembrance in its entirety.
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