Steve Buscemi - image by Ipernity

Who doesn’t love Steve Buscemi? He’s appeared in more than a hundred titles and is a prominent figure in the works of Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and the Coen Brothers. He’s known for his ‘funny’ looks, paranoid, cheeky, arrogant and ‘wise-guy’ portrayals, and is now leading the cast of the critically acclaimed TV show Boardwalk Empire. Here we take a look at five of his best, and most memorable performances.

5. Buscemi in Desperado

“Now this bar is full of low lives, I mean, not like this place here”

Buscemi’s role in Desperado is a fine example of how he can be in a film for all of 9 minutes and still make a huge impact. Steve Buscemi walks into a bar and tells a story about a big Mexican with a guitar case, he effectively scares the shit out of the bartender and hints at all of the bar’s punters being low life scum and deserving of their brutal fate. He’s cheeky and sly, only Steve Buscemi can get away with insulting a load of Mexican thugs to their face; and that’s why his very small role is so memorable.

4. Donny in The Big Lebowski

“He peed on The Dude’s rug”

Far from his usual loud, arrogant and talkative characters, Donny is a friend of The Dude and Walter and spends his time repeating lines that have already been said. He angers Walter, and is constantly told ‘shut the f*** up Donny’; but despite his minor role, he does add a lot to the film and is a good friend to the guys. It’s interesting to see Buscemi play someone who is constantly in the background, hanging off the words of his two friends, but he is a good addition, and any Buscemi is better than no Buscemi in our books!

3. Garland Greene in Con Air

Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.”

Taking a radical break from his typical dark comedies, Buscemi plays the serial killer and suggested paedophile Garland in Con Air. He’s creepy and weird, but calm and collected despite being in a stressful prisoner takeover situation, instead of panicking he decides to sing ‘He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’ and later takes a detour to play with a girl and her dolls. Buscemi’s unique appearance contributes to his strange character, and his attempt at playing a completely different character than he’s known for is effective.

2. Carl Showalter in Fargo

Oh, fuck it, I don’t have to talk, either, man! See how you like it. Just total fuckin’ silence. Two can play at that game, smart guy. We’ll just see how you like it. Total silence.”

Carl is a criminal hired to kidnap a woman by her own husband; along with fellow criminal Grimsrud, he embarks on a journey that goes terribly wrong, and he soon discovers that his partner is a psychopath, willing to kill anyone that gets in his way. Their interactions are hilarious, and they are caught in some sticky situations; Carl just wants his silent partner to communicate during their boring route, and he thinks it’s unfair that he has to do all the driving. The character is annoying and whiney but incredibly funny, and Steve Buscemi portrays him perfectly.

1. Mr. Pink in Reservoir Dogs

“Yeah, “Mr. Pink” sounds like “Mr. Pussy”. Tell you what, let me be Mr. Purple. That sounds good to me. I’m Mr. Purple.”

Mr. Pink is majorly pissed that a rat sold him and his colourful colleagues out to the cops during a heist. Though he is angry and hell bent on finding out the truth, he insists on remaining professional and acts as the neutral party during Mr. White’s and Mr. Blonde’s arguments. Mr. Pink doesn’t tip waitresses because society says that they deserve tips but others, such as McDonalds workers, don’t. Although he is accused of being cheap, he does actually talk sense and this is why he is arguably Steve Buscemi’s best character.

What is your favourite character Steve Buscemi has played? Let us know below!


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