Paulie Gualtieri
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Paulie Gualtieri

The Sopranos

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About Him

Grew up… on the tough streets of Newark, N.J. “Paulie Walnuts” doesn’t have any grand ideas about his life. He is what he is, and he’s happy with that. In his words, “I was born, grew up, spent a few years in the army, a few more in the can, and here I am: half a wise-guy. So what?”

Living… in a modern world with different rules than he’s used to. Paulie is a bit of an anachronism. His old-school style can be a bit embarrassing when viewed by normal, law-abiding, 21st Century Americans. Fortunately it fits in much better with his North Jersey crime “family,” at least its elder members.

Profession… mid-level mobster working with Tony Soprano’s crew. Paulie is a loyal soldier for Tony’s business. He does his job well, in part because his sadistic nature makes inflicting violence fairly easy for him. Hey, it’s always nice to have a skill.

Relationship Status… single. Paulie doesn’t seem to need the kind of support that a family would provide. He enjoys his single life.

Challenge… overcoming his own intellectual shortcomings. Paulie is a dedicated and mostly effective solider, but he’s often incapable of understanding basic logistical issues. He’s definitely in the muscle part of the operation, not the brains. Some of the younger guys in the crew view Paulie Walnuts as a relic, or even something of a joke, but they hide that from him the best they can. He’s also prone to have religious-inflected hallucinations or visions, which may be some form of his conscience trying to haunt him.

Personality… silly. A guy who cracks bad jokes at inappropriate times, Paulie can sometimes mask his murderous nature. He likes to think he’s easy-going, but he can fly into rages at the slightest provocation or misunderstanding. Then he turns to his twisted interpretation of the Catholic afterlife to excuse his bad deeds on Earth: “I figure I’m gonna have to do 6,000 years [in purgatory] before I get to heaven, and 6,000 years is nothin’ in eternity terms. I can do that standing on my head. It’s like a couple of days here.”

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