steve buscemi writes, directs, stars in and even sometimes moves the furniture on his new comedy talkshow park bench (2014-current). the bench is real and moves around new york, from its natural habitat in parks to mayor’s offices and art galleries – everywhere steve would want to sit down and have a chat. “we didn’t have any hard and fast rules. the show really changed with each person that i met,” says steve. “i was really interested in playing with that idea of ‘is this real? is it not?’ and combining both.” it took just five days to shoot all 13 of the episodes for this season, even though steve was still playing nucky on boardwalk empire (2010-2014) at the time. steve’s real brother michael, who played the wacko calling himself god between 2009 and 2012 on nurse jackie (2009-current), crops up in episode 1 to yell at steve for stealing his idea as he films his own park bench interview show. he’ll be back later. the guys’ dad john, a sanitation worker, also wanders in and out. of all his guests, steve was most nervous about meeting dick cavett (in episode 9 in february 2015). dick used to host his own top-rated talkshow (the dick cavett show) from 1968 to 1986. why a park bench? “i find park benches very relaxing and it’s easy to talk to people when you’re sitting in a relaxed atmosphere,” says steve. can you spot the scars? steve normally wears heavy make-up to hide them in movies – he was stabbed above the eye and in the jaw, throat and arm during a bar brawl in 2001. he looks so much like director john waters (writer and director of the original hairspray in 1988) that in 1996, john sent out photos of steve made up to look like him as his christmas card.
steve buscemi’s gone from
boardwalk gangster to talkshow host in one move.