It might be hard to believe, but Steve Buscemi has been in more than 100 movies over the past 30 years; from big budget films to independent gems, he’s a character actor with a face no one is likely to forget anytime soon.
But even if you’ve seen all of his films and count yourself a super-fan, you might not know these 10 facts about the man himself.
10. His character in Con Air was written just for him.
Garland Greene’s exploits “make the Manson family look like the Partridge family,” and only one actor was fixed in screenwriter Scott Rosenberg’s mind when he was writing the part: Steve Buscemi.
9. He seems to be a bit unlucky.
8. He doesn’t have any plans to fix his teeth.
That crooked smile might bother some, but for a guy whose made a career playing lowlifes and losers, Buscemi isn’t letting anyone near it.
7. He was part of a comedy duo with Sons of Anarchy‘s Mark Boone, Jr.
In 1984, the two began a part-improv, part-scripted show that The New York Times called “theater in the absurdist vein.”
6. You might be pronouncing his name wrong.
Instead of Boo-shemmy, he’s always said Boo-semmy – but on a recent trip to Sicily, people said it Boo-SHAY-me.”
5. He did not audition to play George Costanza.
This rumor has been around for years, repeated even by Jason Alexander himself, but Buscemi insisted on an episode of The Tonight Show that it’s not true.
“I never did the audition, and I don’t know how to correct it because I don’t know how the internet works.”
4. He narrates the audio tour at the Eastern State Penitentiary.
3. He’s aware that his characters often aren’t long for that world.
He’s been shot, stabbed, run through with knives, tossed off a balcony, and fed through a wood chipper, but Buscemi has a sense of humor about all of his deaths – he admits he often reads ahead in scripts to see how he will die.
2. He even has a favorite death.
In the Big Lebowski, his character Donny dies from a heart attack, and its out-of-the-blue nature still tickles Buscemi.
“They thought, ‘Well, Buscemi’s in it, so we’ve gotta kill him,” he joked on The Daily Show.
1. He didn’t believe he was getting the lead role in Boardwalk Empire.
After playing the sidekick, loser, and character actor in every show he ever auditioned for, Buscemi couldn’t quite believe it when Terence Winter offered him the lead in the award-winning Boardwalk Empire.
“When Terry did call me and he said that he and Marty wanted me to play this role, my response was, ‘Terry, I know you’re looking at other actors, and I just appreciate that my name is being thrown in.’ He said, ‘No, Steve, I just said we want you.’ It still didn’t sink in.”
Now you know!