Sylvester Stallone on Finally Playing a Gangster in Tulsa King

Fifteen years after “The Sopranos” ended its run on HBO, a new gangster series has arrived. It’s called Tulsa King.

Led by Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan, the new series marks Sylvester Stallone’s first foray into television.

“It’s very hard to find something original,” Stallone said Wednesday night at the New York premiere of Tusla King. “And when there’s a knock on your door, you’d have to be a fool to say no.”

How will Tulsa King differ from other gangster series? For one thing, it’s a western set outside of the big city. Stallone’s character, antiquated mafia capo Dwight Manfredi, is tasked with building a criminal organization in Tulsa, Okla after serving a 25-year sentence.

“The idea of ​​getting him out of New York so he’s not like a Tony Soprano, he’s totally in a different world,” Stallone said. “He might as well have walked the moon.”

Five decades after Stallone auditioned for the roles of Paulie Gatto and Carlo Rizzi in The Godfather, the Rocky star finally plays a gangster.

“It’s a fantasy role,” Stallone said. “I’ve always wanted to play a gangster. No cowboy, no Indian, [but] a gangster. Don’t ask me why, but there’s something romantic about these types of characters.”

Tatiana Zappardino, Vincent Piazza, AC Peterson, Dana Delany, Max Casella, Andrea Savage, Garrett Hedlund, Annabella Sciorra, Sylvester Stallone and Jay Will at the premiere of “Tulsa King” on November 9, 2022 at Regal Union Square in New York took place city.
Kristina Bumphrey for Diversity

Co-showrunner Terence Winter, who wrote and produced The Sopranos, said Stallone is essentially playing a version of himself.

“Other than murder and mayhem, he’s that guy,” Winter said Diversity. “It was really easy to write for. I had his voice in my head and I knew he could pull this off in a heartbeat. It wasn’t a big stretch in terms of acting. He’s very imposing and when you get into that bright light you think you’re looking at a gangster.”

When Dwight arrives in Tulsa, it doesn’t take long before he’s assembled his own crew. His first partner, Tyson (Jay Will), is a Jesse Pinkman-esque character who agrees to drive him wherever he needs to go. And his first branch? A local pharmacy.

“I thought, ‘That’s a different color in the Crayola bag that I’ve never seen him do’ when he gets nudged by a jay,” Will said Diversity. “It was good to see him just loosen it up a bit. It’s a range of experiences I have with him as a driver in the car, from shootings to his high-in-the-back.”

A romance is also brewing between Dwight and a much younger woman named Stacy Beale (Andrea Savage). Stacy storms out of Dwight’s hotel room when she first learns he’s 75, the age Stallone was when they filmed the series.

“I would say there was a part of me that was like, ‘Is this going to offend him?'” Savage said Diversity. “But I was like, ‘He knows it’s in the script. He knows how old he is.” No, it was really fun. It was a great sport.”

The turn? Stacy is a Tulsa cop who was tipped off to keep an eye on Dwight. Savage hinted that her character’s relationship with Dwight will develop in unexpected ways.

“We have a bond,” Savage said. “We’re both fish out of water looking for what to do in our lives. My character is going to be probably the most dramatic on the show, so I’m really going to stop being so funny, which I actually enjoyed immensely.”

Max Casella, who played Benny Fazio in The Sopranos, said the real charm of Tusla King is its “motley cast of characters.”

“It turns the old gangster genre on its head,” said Casella Diversity. “It leads west. He works with Gen Z people from dispensaries that sell weed, Native Americans and me – everyone has their own mishegos.” Sylvester Stallone on Finally Playing a Gangster in Tulsa King

Charles Jones

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