Michael Stuhlbarg talks about Martin Scorsese’s HBO Show BOARDWALK EMPIRE

     September 24, 2009

Michael Stuhlbarg Boardwalk Empire HBO Martin Scorsese.jpg

HBO makes great television. We all know that. Every year the cable channel produces series and mini-series that go on to win Emmys and create intense conversations about the latest episodes. And right now, the network is hard at work producing what’s sure to be a massive television event, “Boardwalk Empire”.

If you haven’t yet heard of the show, don’t panic. The network only shot the pilot a few months ago and the full series begins shooting next month. But the reason you should care is one name: Martin Scorsese. Yes, one of the greatest directors in Hollywood directed the pilot and he’s producing the show along with a few people that made “The Sopranos”. The show is a look at the origins of Atlantic City’s boardwalk and is based on the book “Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City” by Nelson Johnson. I recently got to speak to one of the stars of the show, Michael Stuhlbarg, and after the jump you can read what he had to say:

Michael Stuhlbarg.jpgAccording to Michael, he’s going to play Arnold Rothstein. Here’s a link to Wikipedia so you can read all about Arnold. The guy was a very famous Jewish gangster and I’m sure the role is going to be great to watch. He went on to say he’s going to start filming the show next month and it should air next fall.

What was interesting is he said, “they spent over two months shooting the pilot. It was like an independent film.” But they’re only “allowing eight shooting days for each episode.

But with Martin Scorsese possibly directing a few episodes, who is going to be the executive that tells him no when he wants an extra day or two to shoot.

The fact is, this is a show I cannot wait to see and next fall is a long way away. Here’s what Michael said during a roundtable interview:

Question: Are you going to be a regular in Boardwalk Empire?

Michael Stuhlbarg: I am.

Is this going to be on HBO with Martin Scorsese?

Michael: Martin Scorsese directed the pilot. I shot it a number of months ago. We start shooting the rest of the series in the middle of October. Steve Buscemi, Kelly MacDonald, Michael Shannon, Dabney Coleman, Michael Pitt, Aleksa Palladino, Vincent Piazza.

So you’re working with another bunch of unknowns.

Michael: Yes, indeed. It’s a really lovely group of people. And I’m playing Arnold Rothstein who is responsible, possibly, for fixing the 1919 World Series. It’s a really fun part and the pilot was a gas to shoot. It was really fun.

martin_scorsese__2_.jpgIs it a six episode, twelve episode, thirteen?

Michael: Twelve episodes, I think, at the moment. We’ll see how it goes. It won’t be seen until next fall.

Scorsese directed or is he producing?

Michael: He directed it and he executive produces it and I think he’ll direct some more episodes.

Have you been told what some of the other directors might be?

Michael: Tim Van Patten…Terence Winter wrote the pilot from “The Sopranos”. Tim Van Patten as well who’s associated with The Sopranos and he’s also an executive producer on the show. Mark Wahlberg and Steven Levinson are both producing it. I imagine Terence is going to be very hands on throughout the process and I believe he’ll direct some of the episodes as well. Who knows, I imagine Steve Buscimi because he’s been so involved in directing lately…eventually, if he’s free…

What kind of shooting are you looking at? Is it four months or six months?

Michael: It looks like they’re going to try and get it done by December or January. So relatively quickly. Although they spent over two months shooting the pilot. It was like an independent film. I think they’re allowing eight shooting days for each episode.