- "Then you're a dead man. You and your family, and those spic drug dealers you hang out with, you're all dead. It's your choice."
- ― Rocco Pelosi
Rocco Pelosi is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series, appearing as a central character and the secondary antagonist of The Ballad of Gay Tony. He returns as a supporting character and minor antagonist in Grand Theft Auto V.
Rocco is a Italian-American gangster and made man in the Algonquin based Ancelotti crime family, in which he serves as a soldato and loan shark/debt collector. He works alongside his uncle, Vince, an Ancelotti enforcer. Gay Tony owes him money, thus forcing him and TBoGT's protagonist Luis Lopez to work for him.
He is a made member of the Ancelotti Crime Family and a distant relative of both Giovanni and Gracie Ancelotti. He is often seen alongside his uncle Vince, being more influential within the family than him despite his young age. Rocco's exact status in the crime family is unknown, likely soldato, as well as his connection to Ancelotti capos Tony Black or Frank Garone.
Events prior to The Ballad of Gay Tony
Some time prior to the events of TBOGT, Tony Prince borrowed a huge loan from Don Giovanni. Due to Tony being unable to pay his debts to the Ancelotti family, Giovanni sends Rocco and Vince to make weekly collections from Tony.
Events of The Ballad of Gay Tony
Rocco appears for the first time in I Luv LC when he and Vince are collecting money from Tony. He also meets Tony's bodyguard Luis Lopez and immediately throws racial slurs at him in a similar fashion, calling him a "spic" and a "taco", prompting Luis to respond and refer to Rocco as a "guido". He also voices his clear dislike for Tony, as he frequently mocks him with slurs such as "fag", knowing Tony is not in the position to fight him back. Behind his back, Tony and Luis agree that he is a "wannabe" who is "out of his league" and they constantly mock him.
After some time, Rocco tasks Luis and Tony to help him interrogate a union official at a golf course. However, members of a rival crime family attack the place. After the mobsters are dealt with and if the official is not killed, Rocco leaves with him, presumably to further interrogate and kill him.
This help from Tony and Luis does not wipe out the debt and Rocco again gives a mission to Tony and Luis: seduce the girlfriend of Vic Mazano and take over his club. Luis ends up killing Vic and barely makes it out alive after an ambush by Triads. Luis suspects that Rocco set him up.
Rocco is seen again in Tony's apartment, during a coke party. Some guests of the party include Evan Moss and Gracie.
- "You fucking killed yourself just then! There's Russians, fucking everyone they're coming after you, the Old Man, you're fucking dead, the both of you. They're coming any second and they're expecting corpses."
- ―Rocco Pelosi to Luis Lopez.
In a complex chain of events, the diamonds attract thieves who kidnap Gracie and demand the diamonds. Giovanni Ancelotti makes a truce with the original owner of the stolen diamonds, Ray Bulgarin, and both blame Rocco, Tony and Luis for the incidents. Rocco, in a twisted gesture of compassion, offers to spare Luis and own the clubs with him if he personally kills Tony. Although he briefly considers it, Luis instead kills Uncle Vince and is about to kill Rocco, but Tony saves him by telling Luis that he is a made man. Rocco then flees. Shortly after, Luis and Tony fight off a Russian hit squad.
Rocco is not heard or seen again after the completion of the story. If the player calls Rocco's number after Departure Time, Rocco's voicemail message states that he has fled Liberty City to "lay low" for a while.
Events of Grand Theft Auto V
Rocco appears in GTA V where he is shown to be in Los Santos after he escaped from Liberty City. After coming to the city, Rocco left the mob business and became a corrupt talent agent, who organised an extortion scheme by persuading famous actors to demand bigger paychecks from their studios in order to halt productions and blackmail studio executives into buying him out.
He also seems to be still interested in the club business as it is reported at the Daily Rag that he's about to turn an abandoned warehouse in East Los Santos into an EDM superclub, fitted with "jacuzzis, chicks in cages, sparklers in the bottles, different themes per floor and open 24/7". It was scheduled to be open the next year from the game time (2013, so it would open in 2014). When the game takes place, Rocco attempts his scam once more with movie producer Solomon Richards' most recent movie, Meltdown. However, Solomon sends former bank robber Michael De Santa to threaten Rocco into giving up his extortion. Michael sneaks into Rocco's building and confronts him on his helipad, beating him severely and then forcefully taking the actor and director he'd been withholding back to the studio.
- "Big man! We had a deal, we had paper work!"
- ― Rocco Pelosi
Later on, a vengeful Rocco and his friend/associate Gianni break into Solomon's studio and assault Solomon for sending Michael after them and failing their scheme. However, Michael arrives just in the nick of time as he was about to meet with Solomon and after helping up Solomon to get up on his feet, Solomon tells Michael to get Rocco and Gianni. Michael obliges and chases both Rocco and Gianni out of the studio and throughout the city. After optionally wrecking their car, Michael kills Gianni and then kills Rocco as well.
From his appearances, Rocco is shown to be an extremely arrogant, sadistic, cocky and disrespectful Ancelotti gangster who shows open contempt towards Luis and Tony and is rude to almost everyone he encounters.
Rocco and his uncle Vince have a dark sense of humour derived from their sadistic pleasure of making other people around them miserable and their delight in bullying and mocking them in whatever way they can and make them feel uncomfortable. Like Vince, Rocco is openly racist and homophobic, as he uses various racial and homophobic slurs towards both Luis and Tony (such as "fag","homo", "spic" and "taco") as they know very well that Tony can't and won't fight back. Luis, however, is not afraid of Rocco and does not put up with his and Vince's harassment and bullying, as evidenced when he fires a similar racial slur ("guido") in Rocco's direction.
Rocco takes great pride in being a member of the Ancelotti family and being related to Don Ancelotti and his daughter and often expressed his belief that his connections made him untouchable. Despite all of this, Rocco usually avoids brutal violence and rather makes somebody else perform violent acts on his behalf. Despite his supposed connections, Rocco's true colors reveal that he is a very cowardly individual as he fled Liberty City the moment his uncle was murdered to escape from Tony and Luis' wrath.
Luis voices his contempt of Rocco to his face and distrusts him (for example, he claims that Chinese Takeout and Boulevard Baby were both traps set by Rocco to kill him). Rocco, though normally very disrespectful, prefers Luis and occasionally delegates to him when trying to restrain or exclude Tony. Rocco also showed that he has a small degree of trust in Tony's business practices - despite saying his judgment is clouded by a "midlife crisis", as he sees a very big monetary value in Maisonette 9.
Rocco appeared to like Luis more than Tony (even though Tony tried any way he can to pay off his debts to the Ancelotti crime family) and he offered to wipe out the debt if Luis kills Tony. Ironically, Luis killed Vince instead and was ready to shoot Rocco when Tony defended him and said it was a bad idea because Rocco is a "made man". With this act, Tony saved Rocco's life, even though Rocco heavily insulted him and was going to have him killed by Luis, who couldn't kill his friend because of "second thoughts".
This arrogance and cowardice carries over to Grand Theft Auto V; he arrogantly dismisses Michael during their first meeting, and after his first fight with Michael goes poorly, he attempts to intimidate Solomon (a much older man than either Rocco or Michael) and immediately flees when Michael appears. What little violence Rocco needs done in this game he does himself, but that may be only because his diminished circumstances mean he has nobody else to push it on.
In The Ballad of Gay Tony, Rocco has only two outfits:
- 1970s style pink polo shirt with black slacks, only worn in Practice Swing.
- Black leather jacket with white undershirt and grey slacks.
In GTA V, he wears a pink v-neck t-shirt, a black leather jacket, a pair of blue jeans and black shoes.
The Ballad of Gay Tony
- I luv LC
- Practice Swing
- Boulevard Baby
- Frosting on the Cake
- Ladies' Night (Post-mission phone call)
- Ladies Half Price (Post-mission phone call)
- Party's Over (Boss)
Grand Theft Auto V
- Unlike many other characters from the game, he doesn't have an entry in the LCPD database.
- His name is possibly a reference to "Rocco P", a trendy brand of women's boots.
- Rocco, Miguel and Ryder are the only antagonists who did not directly attempt to kill the protagonist.
- Rocco is the only secondary antagonist of the GTA IV era who survives the events and appears in GTA V where he meets his death. This is due to the fact that Jimmy Pegorino and Ray Boccino (who were also Italian gangsters and were the secondary antagonists of GTA IV and The Lost and Damned respectively) were killed, with Pegorino being killed either by Dimitri or Niko and Boccino being killed by Niko.
- Rocco's character model could have been taken from Tommy Johnson from the movie "Football Factory" (which Rockstar produced). Rocco wears a similar polo shirt to Tommy, and also share similar facial features. Tommy Johnson was played by Danny Dyer, who also voiced Kent Paul in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Rocco also bears some resemblance to Armando Torres, as they have similar facial appearences.
- Rocco's in-game model is different from his artwork, as in his artwork, he is shown with spiked hair.
- Rocco's first voicemail is one of the five shortest voice mails in the HD Universe. (Yo, it's the Rock. Leave a message) the other four would be Little Jacob's (Yeah, I'm busy. Call me back.), Phil Bell's (This is Phil B. Leave a message.), Clay Simons (This is Clay's phone. Leave your details.) and Dave Norton's (Dave Norton. Leave a message.) However, after Departure Time is completed, he changes it to a longer one.
- Rocco could be based on the characters of Matthew "Matt Drinkwater" Bevilacqua and Sean Gismonte from The Sopranos, as both are small-time associates of the DiMeo crime family who are constantly attempting to gain favour with their superiors so as to rise through the ranks. They also get in trouble with the DiMeo crime family for the attempted murder of Christopher Moltisanti, an up-and-coming associate in the organisation, similar to how Rocco got in trouble with the Algonquin Triads for the shootout at the Dragon Heart Plaza. Rocco could also be based on Chris Moltisanti, as Rocco sells coke to Gracie Ancelotti, the daughter of mob boss Giovanni Ancelotti, just as Christopher and Brendan planned to sell speed to Hunter Scangarelo and her friend Meadow Soprano, the daughter of DiMeo capo and eventual boss Tony Soprano. Both Rocco and Chris Moltisanti are also distant relatives of their respective bosses, Giovanni Ancelotti and Tony Soprano. Furthermore, both Rocco and Chris are constantly seeking to prove themselves to their bosses, as Rocco asks Gracie if she'll tell her father that he (Rocco) "is on the up", and although Chris was initially being groomed as Tony's successor, he later falls out of favour with him and complains that he is being undervalued and that his real worth isn't being recognised.
- The mission name in GTA V, The Ballad of Rocco is clearly a reference of The Ballad of Gay Tony, in which Rocco also appears in.
- Rocco Pelosi, Ray Boccino and Ray Bulgarin are the only antagonists to be killed by another protagonist (Rocco Pelosi was the rival of Luis Lopez and was killed by Michael De Santa, Ray Boccino was the rival of Johnny Klebitz and was killed by Niko Bellic and Ray Bulgarin was the rival of Niko Bellic and was killed by Luis Lopez, although Bulgarin did became enemies with both Niko and Luis).
- In Frosting on the Cake, Evan Moss claims Rocco could have lent Tony $2 million (he suggests Gracie as well, and both of them could have, in turn, borrowed it from Don Ancelotti).
- Although Rocco is stated to be a made member of the Ancelotti Family (not being killed in Party's Over because he's a "made guy"), it is also suggested that he is only an associate working his way up. For example, he once asks Gracie to "tell the Don I'm on the up" indicating that he has not yet earned Ancelotti's approval, and is therefore not a made man/soldier. It is possible that he simply wants Ancelotti to know of his earning power to be considered for the position of Capo; however, Tony also says Rocco is small time suggesting he has little or no standing within the family. It is possibly an oversight.
- Although not confirmed, it is possible that Sharon Morton is Rocco's girlfriend.
- Judging by dialogue from workers at Rocco's warehouse, it is possible that Rocco intended to establish a chapter of the Ancelotti family in Los Santos although these plans eventually fell through with the deaths of Rocco and Gianni.