40 Crazy Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of The Sopranos
Tony Sirico was a real-life mobster in his youth
Sirico, who played Paulie Walnuts, was able to play his role so convincingly because he was once an actual gangster! He was arrested 28 times during his criminal years, starting when he was just a kid stealing nickels from a newsstand. Sirico allegedly worked with the Colombo crime family during his years as an active criminal. It was during one of his stints in jail that he was inspired to become an actor. He encountered an acting troupe made up of all ex-cons and decided to transform his career ambitions. He’s been in several movies and TV shows over the years but The Sopranos is still what he’s best known for.