Boardwalk Empire: Biography of Steve Buscemi

by Lisa McGarry

Steve Buscemi will return to our screens next month in Sky Atlantic’s new TV show Boardwalk Empire. He plays Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (based on “Nucky” Johnson), a corrupt Atlantic City politician who rules the town during the Prohibition era. Buscemi won a Golden Globe award for best lead actor in a drama series in 2011.

This former New York City fire-fighter has built a career out of portraying some of the most unique and unforgettable characters in recent cinema. Buscemi’s memorable roles include Mr. Pink in “Reservoir Dogs,” where he won an IFP Spitit Award for standout performance, Rockhound in “Armageddon,” and Donny in “The Big Lebowski.” Although usually a supporting actor, he has had critical success as a lead actor, particularly for his role as Seymour in Ghost World, a role which saw him nominated for a Golden Globe. Buscemi has worked with HBO before; he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor He has also worked behind the camera. Most noticeably he directed four episodes of the acclaimed HBO mob drama “The Sopranos,” with his “Called Pine Barrens,” episode instantly becoming a fans-favourite. Emmy® for his role as Tony Blundetto in Season 5 of “The Sopranos”.

Born in Brooklyn, he became interested in acting during his last year of high school. Soon after, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg where he began writing and performing original theatre pieces with fellow actor/writer Mark Boone Junior in performance spaces and downtown theatres. This led to him being cast in his first lead role in “Parting Glances,” a musician with AIDS.

Since his impressive breakthrough, Buscemi has become the actor of choice for some of the most respected directors in the business such as Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. He has also provided voices for a number of animated films, including “Monster Inc,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Igor.”