The underrated genius of Steve Buscemi (2022)

Starting with "The Sopranos," HBO has specialized in a certain type of dramatic series: a sprawling, overpopulated show about crime and morality, awash in testosterone, propelled by elaborate schemes and counter-schemes, punctuated by murders and funerals. At the center of these shows you'll usually see one or more actors of a particular type: intense, deep-voiced, fearsomely macho. Think James Gandolfini in "The Sopranos," Ian McShane in "Deadwood," or Dominic West, Idris Elba and Wood Harris in the first few seasons of "The Wire."

On "Boardwalk Empire," a new HBO gangster drama set during Prohibition, the alpha dog role is filled by … Steve Buscemi?

Buscemi doesn't fit the profile. This slender, reedy-voiced character actor rarely does. Yet on "Boardwalk Empire," as is so often the case, he ends up seeming perfectly cast, giving the part what it probably called for on the page, plus a mix of cynical wisdom, self-loathing, droll humor and expert judgment that deserves its own adjective: "Buscemian."

(Video) Coach Bert - Saturday Night Live

In "Boardwalk Empire," Buscemi plays Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, the treasurer of Atlantic City in the early years of Prohibition, and the secret boss of a criminal nexus that directs the flow of illegal booze throughout the Northeastern United States. In the pilot, directed by Martin Scorsese, Buscemi makes his entrance as an honored guest at an Atlantic City temperance union meeting. In this introductory scene, there are no obvious tip-offs that he's anything other than the man the ladies see standing at the front of the room delivering a heart-wrenching anecdote about a family stranded during the blizzard of 1888. He talks quietly and matter-of-factly, as if he's just another humble public servant. Nucky recounts how the family patriarch, a drunk, deserted his wife and children in search of booze, leaving the family to fend for itself. The eldest boy rose to the occasion, feeding his mother and siblings three wharf rats that he clubbed to death. The temperance ladies gasp. Nucky tells them the family survived. "And the little boy?" he says. "Well, the little boy speaks to you tonight from this very podium." The room bursts into applause, but Nucky doesn't bask in it. He accepts the crowd's love reluctantly -- as if, after all these years, the event were still a source of pain rather than pride.

As it turns out, the story is baloney. Buscemi's delivery sells it by not trying to sell it. And that's Buscemi's stock-in-trade: compulsively watchable performances that rarely strain after effect. Although some may miss the Godzilla-rising-out-of-the-depths screen presence of a Gandolfini or McShane, I think Buscemi brings a different but equally convincing energy to the role. He's the alpha dog as basset hound.

(Video) Steve Buscemi Landed His Dream Role: Nikita Khrushchev

Nucky is a high roller and a night owl. He presents himself as a pillar of the community while hobnobbing with visiting Chicago gangsters in a hotel stocked with hookers and booze. But Buscemi plays him as plausibly harmless -- perhaps even as a man who'd indulge his latent decency and kindness more often if he weren't afraid that the hardcore gangsters in his orbit would read it as a sign of weakness. When Nucky, a childless widower, takes an interest in an abused pregnant wife named Margaret Schroeder (Kelly MacDonald), and Margaret seems unaware of the unofficial aspects of his influence, we think not that she's naive or stupid, but that Nucky is good at putting up a false front. Buscemi tends to fool the viewer, too. Looking at that face and hearing that voice, you can't help thinking him harmless, even nerdy, even after you've seen him shtupping his buxom gold digger girlfriend or slamming a man's head against a tabletop.

"Boardwalk Empire" is just the latest example of Buscemi getting cast in a role you wouldn't normally picture him playing, then taking possession of it so decisively that you can't imagine anyone else playing it. He's the actor as Swiss Army Knife: Whatever a story needs, he's probably got it. Buscemi has appeared in more than 100 films and TV programs, creating the sort of dependable yet varied utility-infielder character acting career that was more common in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system than it is today. He is always immediately recognizable as Steve Buscemi, rarely playing parts that require him to disguise his face or voice (as if such a thing were possible). But he rarely recycles performances, even when he seems to have been typecast in a particular mode that he's mastered before: the fast-talking criminal, for instance, or the philosophical outsider, or the small-town loser.

(Video) The Search for One-Eye Jimmy | Full Movie | Steve Buscemi, Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro

Buscemi was compellingly eccentric in two early Coen brothers movies, "Miller's Crossing" (playing Eddie Dane's chatterbox lover, Mink) and as the bellhop in "Barton Fink" ("C-H-E-T ... Chet!"). And he was operatically pathetic as the "kinda funny-lookin'" Carl Showalter, one of the kidnappers in the Coens' "Fargo." Carl was the self-proclaimed brains of the operation -- a raging schmuck who buries ransom money in a snowy hole in the ground and marks it with an ice scraper while staunching a gunshot wound to his face with a wad of paper towels. He's the blue-collar dopplegänger of William H. Macy's white-collar criminal in the same film: a mediocrity that thinks the world owes him something. His smug entitlement and impotent anger are by turns disturbing, sad and hilarious. Buscemi lets you see the character's insecurity and pipsqueak rage. Carl probably spent half his youth getting stuffed into gym lockers by bullies; now he's a murderous felon, but when he gets on the phone with his patrons and shrieks about how things are going to be, he still can't inspire fear. No wonder he's cranky.

Now look at Buscemi just one year later playing Donnie in the Coens' bowling noir "The Big Lebowski" -- a good-natured dullard treated as a human doormat by his two best friends, Walter Sobchack (John Goodman) and Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges). The aggrieved, bloodthirsty edge he displayed in "Fargo" -- and as the monologue-spouting, tip-hating Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's first movie, "Reservoir Dogs," and in so many crime films that desperately wished they were "Reservoir Dogs" -- is nowhere to be seen. He's just Donnie, one of those kindhearted punching bags that his friends don't appreciate until his ashes are getting caught in someone's beard.

(Video) Steve Buscemi on his role in the new satirical comedy 'The Death of Stalin'

He delighted kids as the voice of Templeton the Rat in the 2006 "Charlotte's Web" and the treacherous Randall Boggs in "Monsters, Inc." He fit right into the pioneering AIDS drama "Parting Glances" as well as Abel Ferrara's gonzo gangster picture "King of New York" (as Test Tube) and the sad-sack indie comedies "In the Soup" and "Living in Oblivion" (as a director being overwhelmed by the egos of his cast and crew). He fit right into some ostentatiously "colorful" roles in glossy-trashy action pictures -- notably "Con Air," in which he played Garland Greene, a serial killer who looks like a wet mouse, but is so fearsome he has to be restrained with a Hannibal Lecter mask. An actor who can convincingly play both Garland Greene and the definitive record-geek-suffering-a-midlife-crisis in "Ghost World" is an actor of formidable skill.

Buscemi is a sharp yet unassuming director, too. His films and TV episodes are built on a bedrock of John Cassavetes-style heightened naturalism, but his sense of composition is precise, classical, in some ways conservative, yet almost always just right. Rent his 1996 debut film, "Trees Lounge," for an example of a New York indie ensemble comedy that adds up to more than the sum of its parts. It offers the can't-miss comic spectacle of a down-on-his-luck Buscemi driving an ice cream truck through the suburbs, and boasts one of the most perfectly paired opening and closing sequences in '90s indie film – the final close-up is surprisingly powerful.

(Video) Delirious | Steve Buscemi | Drama | Free Full Movie | English | HD

If you're in the mood for something harder, try Buscemi's second film, the prison drama "Animal Factory," which is filled with arresting performances by actors cast wildly against type (including Mickey Rourke as a toothless transvestite named Jan and Tom Arnold as a terrifying sexual predator). Or revisit his sterling work for various series, notably "The Sopranos" (among other great episodes, Buscemi directed "Pine Barrens," the one with the Russian in the woods, and "Mr. and Mrs. Sacrimoni Request," about imprisoned mobster Johnny Sack getting a day pass to attend his daughter's wedding). He directs like he acts: purposefully and inventively but without fuss. He thinks in shots without calling attention to shots, and he always seems to keep the endgame in mind. Where are we going? How will we get there? Where are we now?

The philosophy displayed in Buscemi's work as both actor and filmmaker reminds me of a passage from David Mamet's back-to-basics manifesto "True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor." "Preoccupation with effect is preoccupation with the self," Mamet writes, "and it is not only joyless, it is a waste of time ... Art is an expression of joy and awe. It is not an attempt to share one's virtues and accomplishments with the audience, but an act of selfless spirit."

(Video) El genio escondido de Steve Buscemi


Is Steve Buscemi friends with Adam Sandler? ›

As with other frequent Sandler co-stars like Chris Rock, Kevin James, and David Spade, Sandler and Buscemi are good friends off-screen.

Why didn't Steve Buscemi fix his teeth? ›

Steve Buscemi is kind of the poster child for “actors with bad teeth,” but Buscemi has openly discussed his lack of a smile makeover, saying that cosmetic dentists have offered to fix his smile but he fears he would never work again if his teeth were too perfect.

What ethnicity is Steve Buscemi? ›

Buscemi's paternal ancestors were from the town of Menfi in Sicily, and his mother is of Irish, English, and Dutch ancestry.

Who has the prettiest teeth in Hollywood? ›

Here are five of the best smiles in Hollywood that you can emulate with a little help from your dentist.
  1. Julia Roberts. Julia Roberts is well-known for her famous smile. ...
  2. Halle Berry. It's hard to imagine Halle Berry without straight, symmetrical teeth that shine in the spotlight. ...
  3. Jennifer Lopez. ...
  4. Idris Elba. ...
  5. Ryan Gosling.
31 Jan 2019

What famous people have full dental implants? ›

10 Celebrities Who Have Dental Implants
  • Kathy Ireland. Kathy Ireland has flashed her smile across many magazines, including the cover of Sports Illustrated during her days as a supermodel. ...
  • Mike Tyson. ...
  • Ed Helms. ...
  • 50 Cent. ...
  • Gary Busey. ...
  • Christie Brinkley. ...
  • Nicolas Cage. ...
  • Jim Carrey.
25 Oct 2021

What celebrities have full mouth dental implants? ›

Famous Celebrities with Dental Implants:

George Clooney. Morgan Freeman. Mike Tyson. 50 Cent.

Which actor has saved the world the most? ›

Forget Superman, Batman and John McClane, Sean Connery has saved the world more times in character than any other, say researchers. Actor Sean Connery has saved the world more than any other film actor according to new research.

Who did Steve Buscemi voice in Rick and Morty? ›

"Rick and Morty" A Rickconvenient Mort (TV Episode 2021) - Steve Buscemi as Eddie - IMDb.

Is Steve Buscemi a nice guy? ›

The firefighters that Buscemi had worked with on 9/11 had said that the 62-year-old actor would work for 12 hours a day, digging through rubble and trying to help in any way that he could. He may play a bad guy in the movies, but in real life, he is a selfless and courageous hero.

Who has been in the most movies ever? ›

The “Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc is regarded as the actor who's racked up the most acting credits — more than 1,200 — voicing Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and many, many more cartoon characters since the 1930s.

How rich is Steve Buscemi? ›

Introduction. As of October 2022, Steve Buscemis net worth is roughly $35 Million. What is this? Steve Buscemi is an American actor, filmmaker, and former firefighter from New York.

How much money did Steve Buscemi make for Boardwalk Empire? ›

According to Celebrity Net Worth, "Steve Buscemi's salary is $75,000 per episode of Boardwalk Empire."

What is the rarest smile? ›

A complex smile lives up to its name. It's the most complex smile style, and it's also the most rare, found in only about 2% of people naturally. A complex smile combines the movements in both the other smile styles and adds to it a simultaneous lowering of the lower lip.

Who has the perfect smile in the world? ›

1. Julia Roberts. There is no doubt about the fact that this gorgeous woman, 57, is the Queen of Hollywood Smiles. Her starring in the movie Mona Lisa Smile (2003) seems to explain the beauty of her smile.

What celebrity has the prettiest smile? ›

1. Julia Roberts. No one can deny that actress Julia Roberts, 49, is the queen of beautiful Hollywood smiles.

How long do full mouth implants last? ›

The Life Expectancy of Full Mouth Implants

The range for normal wear will be around 15 years. This depends on your diet, your oral hygiene and other habits. The regular checkups will monitor the condition of the crowns in the bridges.

How much do full top teeth implants cost? ›

Full mouth dental implant procedure costs can range anywhere from roughly $7,000 to $68,000 overall. These types of implants have an average cost of around $25,000. Keep in mind that it can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $30,000 to get a top or bottom set of full mouth dental implants.

Do people with dental implants live longer? ›

Dental Implants — A Key to a Longer Life? Dental implants are sometimes called “the next best thing to natural teeth.” That statement is certainly true! This form of tooth replacement offers many benefits, including ones that have the potential to help you live a healthier — and perhaps longer — life.

What are the cons of full mouth implants? ›

The risks and complications you are taking for dental implants include infection, damage to other teeth, delayed bone healing, nerve damage, prolonged bleeding, jaw fractures and more.

Are full mouth implants better than dentures? ›

Dental implants are permanent teeth replacements, and they've become a popular alternative to dentures over the past few years. While they cost more than dentures, they last longer and save you money over time. Dental implants lead to fewer visits to the dentist because they're easier to maintain compared to dentures.

Who is not a good candidate for implants? ›

But not everyone is a viable candidate for implants, and ironically the reason most often has to do with the bone. If a patient has suffered significant bone volume loss, either because of disease or the long-term absence of the natural teeth, there may not be enough bone to properly support an implant.

Who is the most well liked actor? ›

popularity is the % of people who have a positive opinion of a all-time actor/actress. Find out more
  • 1 Betty White85%
  • 2 Robin Williams84%
  • 3 Morgan Freeman84%
  • 4 Denzel Washington80%
  • 5 Harrison Ford77%
  • 6 Sean Connery77%
  • 7 Keanu Reeves76%
  • 8 Tom Hanks75%

Who is the No 1 actor of all time? ›

Marlon Brando

With an illustrious career spanning over five decades, Brando is easily the greatest actor of the 20th century. He was the most famous student of Stella Adler, from whom he learned the method acting technique proposed by Stanislavski.

Who does Elon Musk voice in Rick and Morty? ›

Tuskla is a parody of the real-life American electric car manufacturer, Tesla. Elon Tusk is a parody of, and voiced by, Elon Musk.

Did they use Elon Musk's voice in Rick and Morty? ›

Elon Musk is the voice of Elon Tusk in Rick and Morty.

Who voices Obama Rick Morty? ›

Keith David

Who is Christopher Nolan's Favourite actor? ›

Michael Caine

No one has yet matched Michael Caine's contributions to Christopher Nolan's films.

Why Keanu Reeves is the nicest guy in Hollywood? ›

He hasn't let fame go to his head

Even though Reeves is a world famous actor, he doesn't take himself too seriously. Whether it's voicing a character in Toy Story 4 or playing an exaggerated version of himself in the 2019 Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe, Reeves isn't afraid to have fun.

Is Steve Buscemi in Bob's Burgers? ›

Tom Innocenti is a lawyer who appears in "Sexy Dance Healing". He is voiced by Steve Buscemi. The Belcher's first visit him to represent them in the case against Jairo to pay for Bob's surgery; it is later it is revealed that he is also Jairo's lawyer in Jairo's case against Bob over living at the Belcher's property.

What is the most bought movie ever? ›

Top Lifetime Grosses
2Avengers: Endgame2019
4Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens2015
117 more rows

What is the most sold out movie of all time? ›

Highest-grossing films
21Avengers: Endgame
43Star Wars: The Force Awakens
46 more rows

What is the biggest movie of all the time? ›

Avatar, directed by James Cameron, is the highest grossing movie of all time, having a lifetime gross of over $2.8 billion, according to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro.

Who is the richest hero in Hollywood? ›

Let's dive into the list of the top richest actors in the world-
RankRichest Actors In The WorldNet worth (USD)
1Tyler Perry$1 Billion
2Jerry Seinfeld$950 Million
3Shah Rukh khan$700 Million
4Tom Cruise$600 Million
6 more rows
1 Aug 2022

Who is the highest paid hero in Hollywood? ›

1/5Hollywood star Tom Cruise is the highest paid actor, earning more than $100 million for Top Gun: Maverick.

Who was the first actor to be paid $1000000 for a movie? ›

The first actor to break the $1 million threshold was Marlon Brando (USA), who was paid $1.25 million (£400,500) – equivalent today to $8.8 million; £6.1 million – for his starring role as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (USA, 1962).

Who was the highest-paid actor in 1978? ›

Marlon Brando's salary made him the highest-paid movie star in the world at the time.

Who is the richest Hollywood director? ›

1. George Lucas. George Lucas is none other than the renowned director of the super hit franchises Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

How did Adam busler and Steve Buscemi friends? ›

Steve Buscemi and Sandler first met on the set of the 1994 movie, Airheads and haven't stopped working together ever since. To date, Buscemi and Sandler have stared in sixteen movies together, including Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy, and more.

Are Tom Cruise and Adam Sandler friends? ›

Adam Sandler, the renowned comedian and actor, and Tom Cruise share their friendship in the most wholesome way. When things were going south for Cruise in the press, Sandler quickly took it in his hands to tell People Magazine that everyone needs to leave Cruise alone.

Are Adam Sandler and Quentin Tarantino friends? ›

Adam Sandler has remained friends with Quentin Tarantino since his SNL days.

Why does Adam Sandler always have Rob Schneider in his movies? ›

Why Rob Schneider Is In So Many Adam Sandler Movies. Schneider and Sandler became friends in the 1980s on the stand-up gig circuit. Sandler regularly collaborates with his friends, particularly the “Bad Boys of SNL” crew of Schneider, Rock, and Spade.

Who is Leonardo DiCaprio's best friend? ›

2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. DiCaprio and Maguire have one of the longest-lasting friendships in Hollywood. The two met for the first time as kid actors auditioning back in the 80s and reportedly bonded after learning they were both raised by single mothers in Los Angeles.

Does Denzel Washington have Hollywood friends? ›

Denzel said: “Actually, even within the industry, I don't have any actor friends. My friends are old friends. One's an ex-music guy, the other's a restaurant owner and the other's an ex-pro ballplayer.” On why he doesn't have many friends within his field, Washington said: "Because I don't make friends!

What cars does Adam Sandler own? ›

The Big Daddy Garage: A Look Inside Most Expensive Cars In Adam Sandler's Collection
  • Ferrari 488 Pista - $350,000. ferrari.488.pista. ...
  • Lincoln Navigator - $107,000. lincolnveracruz. ...
  • Cadillac Escalade - $90,000. cadillacescalade. ...
  • Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - $87,000. ...
  • Lexus LS 4th Generation - $73,000. ...
  • Cadillac DTS - $65,000.
6 Jul 2022

What actor has worked with Tarantino the most? ›

Jackson. Samuel L. Jackson is the one actor who has appeared in most Tarantino movies, appearing in six movies in main, secondary, and voice roles.

Did Quentin Tarantino ask Kurt Cobain in Pulp Fiction? ›

Quentin Tarantino Asked Kurt Cobain To Play Eric Stoltz's Part In 'Pulp-Fiction' The year was 1993.

Who are Quentin Tarantino's favorite directors? ›

Quentin Tarantino's all-time favourite filmmakers
  • Brian De Palma.
  • Samuel Fuller.
  • Jean-Luc Godard.
  • Howard Hawks.
  • Sergio Leone.
  • Jean-Pierre Melville.
  • Martin Scorsese.
31 May 2022

What is Adam Sandler's least popular movie? ›

Adam Sandler is best known for comedies like "The Waterboy" and "50 First Dates." Films like "The Meyerowitz Stories" and "Uncut Gems" received rave reviews from critics. His lowest-rated movies include comedies such as "Jack and Jill" and "The Ridiculous 6."

How much does Adam Sandler pay his friends? ›

Adam Sandler's is Very Generous with his Friends

With a budget of $80 million, Grown Ups earned $271.4 million. Happy with the movie's success, Adam Sandler gave each of his friends and co-stars Chris Rock, David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Kevin James a brand-new $200,000 Maserati, equating to roughly $800,000.

Which actor has done the most number of movies? ›

The “Man of a Thousand Voices,” Mel Blanc is regarded as the actor who's racked up the most acting credits — more than 1,200 — voicing Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and many, many more cartoon characters since the 1930s.


1. El genio escondido de Steve Buscemi
(Metraje Arcano)
2. Steve Buscemi Interview - The Death of Stalin Premiere | TIFF17
3. The Death Of Stalin (2017) | Steve Buscemi | Ministers of Stalin | Dark Comedy
4. Nicolas Cage Breaks Down His Most Iconic Characters | GQ
5. Con Air - Nostalgia Critic
(Channel Awesome)
6. Delirious | Steve Buscemi | Drama Movie | English | Romance
(Bjgtjme - Free Movies)

Top Articles

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Golda Nolan II

Last Updated: 10/23/2022

Views: 5715

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Golda Nolan II

Birthday: 1998-05-14

Address: Suite 369 9754 Roberts Pines, West Benitaburgh, NM 69180-7958

Phone: +522993866487

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Worldbuilding, Shopping, Quilting, Cooking, Homebrewing, Leather crafting, Pet

Introduction: My name is Golda Nolan II, I am a thoughtful, clever, cute, jolly, brave, powerful, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.