Monday, December 10, 2007

Big Pussy is Not Dead, He's in Chicago

When you play a guy on TV named Big Pussy, you have big problems. People yell that name in the most inconvenient places -- in quiet bookstores, in churches, in restaurants. Actor Vincent Pastore, one of the most popular members of Tony's crew on "The Sopranos" before being whacked at the end of the second season, puts it like this: "Big Pussy is my nickname for the rest of my life. My friends even made up a T-shirt. Big Pussy is not dead. He's in Chicago."

That means he's in the musical "Chicago" on Broadway alongside Aida Turturro, who played Tony Soprano's sister Janice in the HBO mob series. Pastore's latest role is in Guy Ritchie's new film "Revolver," where he plays a con man. He's also doing a stint on the new "Celebrity Apprentice," debuting in January on NBC, and he has his own Sirius radio show.

1. What was it like to work with Guy Ritchie in "Revolver"? My Wines Direct DECSAVE

It was unbelievably great. Now Guy, [co-star] Jason [Statham] and I are friends. We're like the Three Musketeers now. When we did the movie, I really listened to Guy. The script was a different type of script for me -- something to bite into and work on. I liked my character because he was different. Not to give too much away, but he's a con man and something beyond that.

2. Were you nervous singing and dancing on stage the first time on Broadway in "Chicago"?

The acting I love. I'll act with a grapefruit. That doesn't bother me. Thank God I got my friends here in New York helping me with the singing and dancing for the show. I get more and more confident with each show. As the shows go along, I improve. Now it's like "Sopranos" go to Broadway with Aida and me on that stage. People are loving it. We come out and there are cheers and people waiting backstage with "Sopranos" stuff for us to sign. I think my friends from the show will come soon. I know Jim Gandolfini is coming. Lorraine [Bracco] is coming.

3. Tell us about your role on "Celebrity Apprentice." How was it being hired or fired by Donald Trump?

Donald is the boss. That's all I can say. ... We signed some crazy contract. If I tell you what happened they take my thumbs off. I can say that one day we sold hot dogs on a New York street corner. Me and Gene Simmons selling dogs. We sold a lot of hot dogs.

4. What did you think of the controversial, fade-to-black "Sopranos" finale?

I talked to ["Sopranos" creator] David Chase about the ending and he said he didn't want Tony to die. People talk about that ending with me now all the time. I figure it this way: If Tony would have went into witness protection, people wouldn't be talking about it that much. David did a good job.

5. We know your Big Pussy is swimming with the fishes, but can't he come back in dream sequences in a "Sopranos" movie? By the way, any news on that front?

To tell you the truth, I think David did that ending to keep it open. David can do what he wants to do now. A lot of the characters are still alive. I don't think Silvio Dante [Steven Van Zandt, who was shot and in a coma] died, either. He can wake up. The movie could be flashbacks of Tony and the guys sitting at the meat store. You could pick it up from Tony's childhood. I'm hopeful. I love those guys.

Thanks to Cindy Pearlman

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