Steve Buscemi Plays Nucky Thompson, OG, In HBO’s ‘Boardwalk Empire’

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Terence Winter (Sopranos writer) and Martin Scorsese (omg) are the creators of Boardwalk Empire, an HBO series slated for September and set in Prohibition-era Atlantic City. For once, Steve Buscemi doesn’t play the comic relief criminal.

Remember Buscemi’s hilarious series of appearances on The Sopranos, as Tony’s aging ex-con cousin? (He’s introduced to us twenty years after his incarceration, wearing the same Miami Vice oversized gray blazer and salmon colored crewneck.) And who can forget Buscemi’s lousy crook character in Fargo, the chatty polar opposite of his violent partner who says nothing but feeds bodies into wood chippers? Buscemi always seems to land the wormy, un-righteous roles. Poor dude, poor very successful dude, it’s just how he’s perceived.

But can he play a larger-than-life kingpin? Can he carry a movie – a series – as the don of Atlantic County? The county treasurer that "lives like a pharoah"? (Who is "as corrupt as the day is long"?)

I will say this: I don’t know. There will always be something slight about Buscemi that lends itself to playing characters with whiny voices (i.e. his voice.) But I believe more strongly in Buscemi’s acting ability, as he’s been in one million movies and has been great in most of them (yes, even Armageddon).