The anatomy of a gangster
1. “We wanted to think outside the box from the real Nucky,” Winter says of casting the character. “If we wanted to cast a physical archetype, Jim Gandolfini sort of resembled him. But, you know, Marty [Scorsese] and I said, ‘Let’s forget about what the guy looked like and let’s just look for the most interesting choice.’”
“There’s something that’s very, very strong on the camera with Steve as a character,” Scorsese adds.
2. “[Nucky] certainly has a dark side, but there’s certainly a lot of humor that goes along with it,” says Buscemi. “I think he genuinely has a good heart and that he wants to — I mean, I believe that he generally wants to share the wealth and … see people prosper. I’m sure part of that was also getting reelected, but I have to believe that there’s something in him that wants to do good.”
3. “[Nucky] likes being a politician, and he likes being a leader,” says Buscemi. “He is presented with this opportunity now with Prohibition, and you’re either on the trolley or you can be put six feet under.”
“He’s a pragmatist, too,” adds Scorsese. “He’s practical. He’s put in the position of being a treasurer. Yet the treasurer runs the city in a sense, and ultimately … you make a deal. You figure out how much sin you can live with.”