I have to admit that the first time I interviewed Steve Buscemi was kind of embarrassing. I’d been a fan of Buscemi’s work for years having seen him as a standout character actor in films like “Reservoir Dogs,” in which he played “Mr. Pink,” “Barton Fink,” “Living in Oblivion,” “Fargo,” and just too many more to name. Steve is just always damn good. No matter how small the part, he’s always memorable. However, I was completely unaware that I had been mispronouncing his name. Conversation stopped when Steve had to correct my butchered pronunciation of his last name — it’s not Boo-shem-e, which is how everyone says it, it’s Boo-sem-e – it’s an “s” sound, not a “sh” sound. Steve corrected me when I first spoke to him and it’s become my mission to make sure that everyone gets his name right. Without fail, every time his name comes up, I end up correcting the offender. So, world, Steve and I are tired of correcting you, from now on get it right – it’s Buscemi with an “S” sound!
He’s stepping into the director’s chair for a second time with the release of Animal Factory. (Steve’s first feature was a tale of boozers called “Tree’s Lounge” released in 1996.) This vicious prison movie is based on real con Edward Bunker’s novel documenting the savage life inside the walls of San Quentin. The film stars Edward Furlong as a young man thrown into the system and his tale of survival. Willem Dafoe’s character takes a liking to Furlong and shows him the ropes in jail. Mickey Rourke gives the most bizarre performance of his career as a drag queen intent on getting physical with Furlong.
Steve Buscemi (with an “S” sound) has delivered a powerful prison movie that feels as much like a documentary as a drama. The realism shouldn’t be surprising as the extras in the film were actual cons – the entire production was filmed in a real-live jail. Steve filled me in on directing and his prison experience…
Read the interview and get the scoop on Animal Factory and working with cons in AN ACTOR’S DIRECTOR: STEVE BUSCEMI (part 2)>>>