Steve Buscemi has built a career out of portraying some of the most unique and unforgettable characters in recent cinema. He has won an Independent Spirit Award, the New York Film Critics Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe for MGM's 'Ghost World,' directed by Terry Zwigoff, co-starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson. He was also nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Emmy® for his role as Tony Blundetto in season five of 'The Sopranos,' and received a Guest Actor Emmy® nomination for his appearance on NBC's '30 Rock.' He was recently nominated for a Lola, from the German Film Academy Awards, for his work in 'John Rabe,' which was directed by Academy Award®-winning director Florian Gallenberger and stars an international cast.
Born in Brooklyn, Buscemi began to show an interest in drama in his last year of high school. Soon after, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg. There he and fellow actor-writer Mark Boone Junior began writing and performing their own theatre pieces in performance spaces and downtown theatres. This led to Buscemi being cast in his first lead role, in Bill Sherwood's 'Parting Glances' as a musician with AIDS.
Since this impressive breakout performance, Buscemi has become the actor of choice for some of the most respected directors in the business. His resume includes Martin Scorsese's 'New York Stories'; Jim Jarmusch's 'Coffee and Cigarettes' and 'Mystery Train,' for which he received an IFP Spirit Award Nomination; Alexandre Rockwell's 'Somebody to Love,' and the 1992 Sundance Film Festival Jury Award-winner 'In the Soup'; Quentin Tarantino's 'Reservoir Dogs,' for which he received an IFP Spirit Award for his standout performance as Mr. Pink; the Coen Brothers' 'Miller's Crossing,' 'Barton Fink,' the Academy Award®-winning 'Fargo' and 'The Big Lebowski'; and cameo appearances in films such as 'Rising Sun,' 'The Hudsucker Proxy,' 'Big Daddy,' 'Pulp Fiction' and 'The Wedding Singer.'
Buscemi also provided voices for the animated features 'Monster, Inc.,' 'Final Fantasy,' 'Charlotte's Web,' 'Monster House,' 'Igor' and 'G-Force,' co-starring Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Will Arnett, Bill Nighy and Tracy Morgan.
In addition to his talents as an accomplished actor, Buscemi is a respected writer and director. His first project, a short film entitled 'What Happened to Pete,' was featured at several film festivals, including Rotterdam and Locarno, and aired on Bravo.
He marked his full-length feature film directorial debut with 'Trees Lounge,' which he also wrote and starred in. The film, which co-starred Chloë Sevigny, Sam Jackson, and Anthony LaPaglia, made its debut in the Directors' Fortnight at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Buscemi's second feature film as a director, 'Animal Factory,' told the story of a young man sent to prison for an unjustly harsh sentence, who eventually becomes a product of his environment. The film, based on a book by Edward Bunker, starred Willem Dafoe and Edward Furlong, and premiered at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival.
IFC released Buscemi's third directorial feature, 'Lonesome Jim,' a comedy-drama about a dysfunctional family, starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler. It was named one of the year's top ten independent films by the National Board of Review, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2007, Sony Pictures Classics released 'Interview,' which Buscemi co-wrote, directed and starred in with Sienna Miller. This Theo Van Gogh remake premiered at the Sundance Film Festival that same year.
Buscemi's directing work also includes numerous TV credits, including 'Homicide: Life on the Street,' for which he was nominated for a DGA Award, and HBO's 'The Sopranos,' for which he was nominated for an Emmy® and DGA Award for directing the 'Pine Barrens' episode during the third season. He directed an episode of the Emmy®-winning show '30 Rock' and four episodes of the critically acclaimed drama 'Nurse Jackie,' starring Edie Falco.
Buscemi has also started an independent film and television production company based in New York, called Olive Productions. Wearing multiple hats, Buscemi and his longtime friend actor-director Stanley Tucci will produce, write, direct and cultivate talent. Wren Arthur, who worked for Robert Altman for 11 years, is running the company. The company produced Hue Rhodes' 'Saint John of Las Vegas,' in which Buscemi also starred. In addition, Olive has a variety of film and television projects in development. The company signed a first look deal with Lionsgate Television, and is signed on to executive produce an untitled HBO drama starring Tucci.
Most recently, Buscemi starred in Bette Gordon's 'Handsome Harry,' in which he portrays a friend of Harry (played by Jamey Sheridan), and convinces him to seek forgiveness regarding a fellow Navy comrade they betrayed years ago. Buscemi was also featured in Miguel Arteta's 'Youth in Revolt,' and in Oren Moverman's directorial debut, 'The Messenger,' co-starring Oscar® nominee Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster.