Furio Giunta is a soldier that Tony imports from Italy on the HBO television show The Sopranos. He is played by Federico Castelluccio. The character of Furio is used at first in an interesting way: he provides a strange sort of comic relief. On the one hand, Furio seems a little out of place, with amusing Italian mannerisms. On the other hand, Furio is a thug, who doesn’t really even run any criminal organizations, but instead serves as pure muscle for Tony Soprano.
This overlap of a bumbling “foreign man” routine coupled with outbursts of violence carries the character through his first two seasons on the show. In a way, the sense of humor behind this is something similar to that seen with the Coen brothers. Comedy punctuated by violence leaves the audience unclear about how to react. For instance, after the bloody shoot out at the end of Season Three, he is hit in the leg and screams uncontrollably. Is this funny or horrific? Furio leaves us in the position of being unsure how we are supposed to react.
In the fourth season, though, they introduce a new role for Furio: a love interest for Carmela. With the marriage between Carmela and Tony collapsing, she instead develops a crush on Furio. At first, it seems like this might be entirely unreciprocated, but we see that Furio’s “foreign man” routine has largely hidden what was a real alienation from those around him. He falls in love with her as well, and ends up leaving the country.
Like anything related to the mafia, however, the romance between Furio and Carmela proves incredibly dangerous. Furio can’t just win the affections of the boss’s wife or even ex-wife. Instead, the question for Furio is whether or not he kill Tony. What should have been a domestic dispute turns instead into possible murder. Instead of killing Tony, however, he flees, and Tony makes it clear that if was ever found, he would be murdered. This doesn’t upset Carmela as much as one might think, but it’s possible that she doesn’t believe him.
Furio is a curious blend of violence and comedy. In later seasons, he is used as a part of a love triangle that shows the was in which crime corrupts and renders dangerous human interaction.