I've been waiting on pins and needles to see the premiere of HBO's new original series Boardwalk Empire starring Steve Buscemi who plays Enoch (Nucky) Thompson. I'm a huge fan of Steve's and think he's an amazing actor and have witnessed many of his roles over the years.
Boardwalk Empire is the story of Nucky Thompson who is the treasurer of Atlantic City in 1920. Sort of half gangster and half politician. He was the guy who ran everything.
(Image of Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson - HBO - Boardwalk Empire - All Rights Reserved)
Everyone attached to the series is a superstar in their own right. Terence Winter is the creator and executive producer, Martin (Marty to his friends) Scorsese is the Executive Producer and Director, Tim Van Patten is an Executive Producer/Writer/Director. Nelson Johnson is also involved and he's the writer of Boardwalk Empire
The show is about outlaws and crimes and based on the concept that there's always been a love hate relationship with the American Gangster in the American culture. Boardwalk Empire asks a lot of questions. When there's greed and corruption it asks what happens when everything you want is at your feet? The show is about the dark side of the American Dream.
Terence Winter is the creator and executive producer. In the promo for the new HBO series he says "Boardwalk Empire is set in 1920 in Atlantic City." He explains "the series actually begins on the day Prohibition is enacted (January, 1920). Alcohol is now suddenly illegal and the man who runs the city, Nucky Thompson, is open to doing business with people who want to import that alcohol."
It's All About Nucky
Martin Scorcese Director/Executive Producer explains that "Nucky Thompson is not a real gangster. He's corrupt." Buscemi "He's thrilled that Prohibilition is coming in because it means he and his bootlegger friends will make a lot of money."
Tim Van Patton, Executive Producer/Writer/Director notes that Nucky's "world is about to shift from basic sort of local corruption to the violent world of gangsters and all those illegal things that come with it."
Organized Crime - Lucky Luciano And Al Capone
Nelson Johnson, writer of Boardwalk Empire says "one of the main unintended consequences of the noble experiment of Probation was organized crime."
Buscemi notes "the show has incorporated all these real life figures like Arnold Bronstein, Lucky Luciano and Al Capone." Scorcese elaborates "it's not the Lucky Luciano and Al Capone that we know today. It's the youth version. They're gangster toddlers that are just beginning."
Scorscese says "Steve has this extraordinary ability to play characters that have a vivid emotional depth. You can feel it, you can see it."
(Michael Pitt as Jimmy Darmody - HBO's Boardwalk Empire - All rights Reserved)
Winter says "we first meet Margaret Shroeder who is played by Kelly MacDonald in the pilot. She is a local woman who comes to Nucky for help." MacDonald said "I think there's more to Margaret than meets the eye." The actress also said with Martin Scorsese on set you want to do your best.
Van Patten "shes intriguing to Nucky. It's not the type of woman he's used to." MacDonald "there is a little fever inside Margaret that is keeping her going." Van Patten "you don't know exactly what she's willing to do to get exactly what she wants."
Winter "Jimmy Darmody is the character played by Michael Pitt." Michael Pitt "when we see him in the pilot he's working for Nucky Thompson. He begins to see the future in ways Nucky can't begin to see." Scorcese "in the case of Jimmy he represents the new generation, again, the dark side of the American Dream."
Buscemi says "he has no problem of aligning himself with gangsters. Nucky doesn't always approve of the way Jimmy goes about it."
Winter "Michael Shannon plays Prohibition Agent Van Alden. Shannon "Nelson Van Alden is a very religious, puritanical man. He's very devoted to the cause of eradicating booze. They're involved in a variety of illegal activities and I'm trying to put him in prison." Van Patten "He creates a very interesting obstacle for Nucky."
Creating The Boardwalk For The Show
Winter "When I read the book and it was going to be called Boardwalk Empire. We obviously need the boardwalk."
Bob Shaw is the production director. He said "The Boardwalk was the first thing we focused on and the first thing was where are we going to do it."
Martin Scorcese said "I wanted to go to Ashbury Park, New Jersey but they wouldn't allow us. Apparently New Jersey politics is very very complicated." Shaw "So it was decided to build it outside in Brooklyn.
Scorcese "There are hardly any remnants of Atlantic City now, the original one. We were guided by photographs of the period, postcards." Shaw "ultimately the whole thing (the boardwalk set) was built somewhere between two and a half and three months."
Authentic Period Wardrobe
Buscemi "When the sets are authentic, the wardrobe is incredible, you just put on the clothes walk on the set and see everybody else in character and you feel like you're there." Van Patten "It's about power and the roots, the very roots of organized crime."
Winter says "1920 was sex, alcohol and jazz. There's really only a handful of movies and almost no television shows that have explored this era. And there an opportunity to start with this great backdrop and incredible characters to play with and tell this great story."
Don't miss this original series from Broadway. It's going to be a blockbuster series and something you can't afford to ignore. Set your Tivos right now.
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