When push comes to shove, he'll always be Tony Soprano.

James Gandolfini — the "Sopranos" TV mobster who made a living rubbing out nuisances, including his own kin — whacked a self-proclaimed "No. 1 fan" in the face at JFK Airport on Tuesday.

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Sporting a grizzly beard and wary with jet lag, Gandolfini had just stepped off a red-eye flight from L.A. after Sunday night's SAG awards when autograph hound Jason Ertischek, 24, of Brooklyn approached him with a piece of paper and pen in hand.

"Can I be a 'Sopranos' baby?" Ertischek asked the star in a whiny, tough-guy accent.

Gandolfini, with new wife Deborah Lin by his side, ignored Ertischek as paparazzi snapped away. Then the hulking actor suddenly whipped around and smushed the man's face with his hand.

Click here for the rest of the New York Post report.