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Steve Buscemi nearly gave up acting a decade ago, just before he landed on Boardwalk Empire

  • GQ

    Buscemi is "endearingly understated, as if oblivious to how others perceive and contextualize him," Gabriella Paiella writes in a GQ profile of Buscemi, who now stars in TBS' Miracle Workers. Buscemi these days feels nervous even approaching Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the SAG Awards to compliment her on Fleabag. "He's been keeping busy, though," Paiella writes. "Painting some. Indulging in Turner Classic Movies, specifically the 'Noir Alley' programming that airs on weekends, because 'it just feels so good to be watching a movie on a Sunday morning.'" As Paiella notes, Buscemi wasn't supposed to still be acting. "Though it's difficult to imagine a world without Buscemi onscreen, about a decade ago he thought he was done acting," writes Paiella. "Thought he'd peaked, that he might as well devote himself to directing full-time." Buscemi says "I felt like I was at an odd age where I was too old to play some characters, not old enough to play other characters.” That's when he landed the gangster Nucky Thompson role on Boardwalk Empire. “When I called him to tell him he got the role, he was so ready to be rejected,” recalls creator Terrence Winter. “I said, ‘Steve, we'd like to offer you this role.’ And he said, ‘Well, it was really an honor to be considered.’" Buscemi also opened up about the loss of his wife Jo Andres in January 2019 after a nearly four-year battle with ovarian cancer. Before her death, Buscemi says he hadn't thought much about death. “If I should happen to go not suddenly, I hope I could be as present as Jo was,” he says. “She led the way. She was surrounded by friends and family. She really faced it. I really don't think she was afraid of dying. I think it was just a whole series of ‘Oh, I don't get to do this anymore.’"

    TOPICS: Steve Buscemi, TCM, Boardwalk Empire, Fleabag, Miracle Workers, Noir Alley, Jo Andres, Phoebe Waller-Bridge