Actor Steve Buscemi is a veteran of Hollywood and independent films, theater, and television. He can currently be seen as Nucky Thompson on television's "Boardwalk Empire," as well as portraying a funny werewolf in the recent animated release, "Hotel Transylvania."
His role as Nucky Thompson has earned him two Emmy nominations, and he has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards and a Golden Globe. Is it too early to hope that Buscemi will once again be nominated for a Golden Globe for "Boardwalk Empire?" The awards are set to be broadcast on January 13, 2013, just a little over a month after "Boardwalk Empire" concludes its third season. And what a season this has been so far. Nucky's character has taken a considerably darker edge, and Buscemi is very convincing as the ruthless gangster who intends to hold tightly to his control of 1920s-era Atlantic City and its bootlegging business. HBO has already renewed the series for a fourth season, so Buscemi will be able to explore even more facets of his fascinating gangster character.
Crime drama has been a specialty for Buscemi, who has turned in many memorable performances in films like "Reservoir Dogs," where he played Mr. Pink; "Barton Fink," "Pulp Fiction," "Fargo," and "Con Air." But these roles have differed from Nucky Thompson, as they tend to showcase vulnerability, even weakness, which has been another Buscemi trademark. A weak character can turn lethal in a dangerous situation, and Buscemi likes to straddle that psychological edge in many of his roles.
That same vulnerable side can also take a funny turn in the right material. There are comic aspects to his character Mr. Pink in "Reservoir Dogs" (for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Independent Spirit Award). Buscemi has also given free reign to his comic side in his many collaborations with Adam Sandler. He has appeared with Sandler in "Airheads," "Billy Madison," "The Wedding Singer," "Big Daddy," "Mr. Deeds," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," and "Grown Ups." These roles, while funny, also showcase his trademark vulnerability. In his latest collaboration with Sandler, voicing Wayne Werewolf in "Hotel Transylvania," his monster is less beast than harried, hen-pecked father.
One may be tempted to categorize Buscemi as "that weird little guy" who shows up as a sidekick in so many film and television appearances, but his starring role on "Boardwalk Empire" has proven that he can also be a leading man - romantic, vulnerable, even murderous - as the story dictates. Nucky Thompson is a complicated person, and Buscemi's portrayal of the Prohibition-era gangster always nods to the conflicted, thoughtful man that exists within the ruthless criminal.
Buscemi continues to prove that he can be funny, pathetic, dramatic, romantic, or even frightening. One thing is certain. He is always excellent and one of our most versatile actors and is definitely deserving of a Golden Globe nomination this year.
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