On December 13, 1957, a Friday, in Brooklyn,
City, New York, to a restaurant hostess mother and sanitation worker father, Steven Vincent Buscemi entered the world. No one knew at that time what the world had in store for him, or what he had in store for the world.
And while he was not bitten by the acting bug until his senior year of high school, he would eventually become one of the most sought after and acclaimed actors of today.
After catching the acting fever in high school, Buscemi moved to Manhattan to perfect his craft by going to the famous Lee Strasberg Acting School, under the careful tutelage of John Strasberg.
In order to support himself and his dream, he became one of New York City’s heroic firefighters in 1980 with Engine Company #55 in a part of New York known as “Little Italy.” Buscemi left firefighting as a career behind in 1984, just two years before he would land his first big role in a major motion picture, the film Parting Glances.
The year after his big break in acting, 1987, Buscemi got another big break when his then girlfriend agreed to become his wife. They married that year and in 1990 were gifted with a son they named Lucian.
Everything in Buscemi’s life was not out of a fairy tale, though. He was once stabbed repeatedly during a barroom brawl in Wilmington, North Carolina at a place called the Firebelly Lounge. The incident left a long scar on his face, which is covered by heavy makeup when he is acting.
But Steve Buscemi is no hoodlum, fighting and brawling in his spare time. Quite the opposite in fact, as he anonymously and heroically volunteered to help dig through debris at the World Trade Center after 9/11 to aid in the search for missing firefighters. It was not until several months later that anyone at the firehouse found out who he really was.
Buscemi is not only known as a talented actor, but as a gifted director, too. His directorial efforts include films and several episodes of the hit mafia-family television series, The Sopranos.
When not directing or producing with his own production company, he is still what he calls a “working actor,” busy doing at least five films a year sometimes. His best-known acting roles include parts in films like Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and, perhaps the role he is most famous for, in the 1992
movie, Reservoir Dogs.
In 2010, Buscemi landed the lead role in a new cable television drama, Boardwalk Empire. His character, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, was an Atlantic City politician who became a bootlegger during Prohibition in the U.S. The series, based on real people and events, follows Buscemi’s character through the wild and dangerous 1930s as he commits various heinous crimes.
Although the show is now in its last season, Buscemi doesn’t think it will die there. He believes that, in a year or two, he will sit down and watch the whole series over again to remember what it was all like, just a he did when The Sopranos ended.
Buscemi says of his plans for himself after the final episode of Boardwalk, “so I’ll just find out what there is… maybe another character out there (like Nucky) that I’m also not expecting.”