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Way Back When: Steve Buscemi

Steve Buscemi Boardwalk Empire
HBO

You may have first noticed ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ star Steve Buscemi in Quentin Tarantino‘s ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ or maybe it was before that, in Coen Brothers’ films like ‘Miller’s Crossing’ and ‘Barton Fink.’ In today’s Way Back When, we cover Buscemi’s earlier roles.

‘Parting Glances’

In 1986, Steve Buscemi landed his first big role in the drama ‘Parting Glances,’ about gay couple Michael and Robert, who live in New York and are trying to deal with Robert’s upcoming departure to Africa for two years. Also in the mix is Nick, their eccentric gay friend stricken with AIDS, played by Buscemi:

‘Miami Vice’

Buscemi had a small role in this 1986 episode of ‘Miami Vice.’ Crockett and Tubs are trying to nail a Bolivian drug dealer, leading them to Rickles, played by Buscemi. And then Buscemi gets his ass kicked by Don Johnson and… Willie Nelson. Yes, like the Willie Nelson. It’s kind of surreal:

‘Vibes’

In other surreal Steve Buscemi adventures… Buscemi stars as Fred in the 1988 movie ‘Vibes,’ in which Peter Falk hires a pair of psychics played by Cyndi Lauper (yup) and Jeff Goldblum (uh huh) to find his long-lost son, but really he’s sent them on a mission to find a hidden mountain temple where all the psychic energy in the world comes from.

‘Mystery Train’

In 1989 Buscemi starred in the Jim Jarmusch film ‘Mystery Train,’ which followed three stories in Memphis, interconnected by Elvis Presley. Buscemi plays one of a trio of robbers alongside Joe Strummer and Rick Aviles, and you can watch them hold up a convenience store below:

‘Tales from the Darkside: The Movie’

Buscemi starred in the segment “Lot 249″ in ‘Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.’ In his segment, he plays Bellingham, a graduate student cheated out of a scholarship by his classmates after he uncovers a mummy, so he uses the mummy to get revenge on both of them. But when the brother (Christian Slater) of one of his victims discovers his secret — see what happens below:

‘King of New York’

In Abel Ferrara’s classic film ‘King of New York,’ Christopher Walken is a drug lord who gets out of prison and plans to destroy his competition, distributing the wealth among the poor and disenfranchised people of the city, a la Robin Hood. Buscemi plays a thug named — wait for it — Test Tube, who runs around with Laurence Fishburne:

next: see nicole kidman before she was famous

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