In Martin Scorsese’s new HBO series Boardwalk Empire, Steve Buscemi plays the de facto political boss of Atlantic City during the dawn of Prohibition. He’s involved in everything: glad-handing, gaming, bootlegging, and the violence and women that come along with those things. Like almost every role Buscemi has ever played, his character is neither likable nor despicable. Like all his memorable characters, Buscemi plays the miserable hero. A guy so desperate, so uncomfortable, so disappointed in virtually everyone else around him that you can’t help but root for him — no matter how many people he orders killed, no matter how badly he treats his mistress.
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