Park bench

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 19 DECEMBER -

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.

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