At 65 years old, Steve Buscemi has this physical status:
Buscemi made his acting debut in the 1985 film The Way It Is, directed by Eric Mitchell, which was part of the no wave cinema movement. Other early performances include Parting Glances (1986) as well as an appearance in an episode of the television series Miami Vice in 1986.
In 1989, he appeared in four films, including James Ivory's comedy Slaves of New York, Howard Brookner's ensemble period film Bloodhounds of Broadway and the New York Stories segment directed by Martin Scorsese entitled, "Life Lessons" starring alongside Nick Nolte and Rosanna Arquette. The film screened out of competition at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival to mixed reviews with the Scorsese segment being hailed as the standout by Roger Ebert. Buscemi also appeared in Jim Jarmusch's independent film Mystery Train (1989) as Charlie the Barber, and was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male.
In 1990, he played Mink in the Coen Brothers' neo-noir gangster film Millers Crossing starring opposite Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro. This was the first of five of the Coen Brothers' films in which Buscemi performed. Critic Roger Ebert described the film as one that "It is likely to be most appreciated by movie lovers who will enjoy its resonance with films of the past."
Also that year, he starred as Test Tube, a henchman of Laurence Fishburne's character Jimmy Jump in Abel Ferrara's crime film King of New York, as well as Edward in the anthology film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, the protagonist of the "Lot 249" segment of the film.
In 1991, he played a bellboy, Chet, in the Coen Brothers film black comedy Barton Fink starring John Turturro and John Goodman. His first lead role was as Adolpho Rollo in Alexandre Rockwell's In the Soup (1992). He gained wider attention for his supporting part as pseudonymous criminal Mr. Pink in Quentin Tarantino's crime film Reservoir Dogs (1992), a role that Tarantino originally wrote for himself, and one that earned Buscemi the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male in his second nomination. Also in 1992, he had a guest role as Phil Hickle, Ellen's father and older Pete's guidance counselor, in The Adventures of Pete and Pete. The following year, he starred as the eponymous character in the critically panned horror comedy film Ed and His Dead Mother. He also appeared in a cameo appearance in Tarantino's next film, Pulp Fiction, where he portrays a waiter dressed as Buddy Holly who serves Mia Wallace and Vincent Vega. He endeared himself to comedy fans as Rex, bass player of The Lone Rangers, in the 1994 comedy Airheads. In 1995, Buscemi guest-starred as suspected murderer Gordon Pratt in "End Game", an episode of the television series Homicide: Life on the Street. Buscemi was rumored to be considered for the role of The Scarecrow in Joel Schumacher's proposed fifth installment of the first Batman franchise, Batman Unchained, before Warner Bros. cancelled the project.
The next year, Buscemi again collaborated with the Coen Brothers, starring as kidnapper Carl Showalter in the black comedy crime film Fargo starring Frances McDormand and William H. Macy. The film was a critical and commercial success debuting at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival where it competed for the Palme d'Or. Subsequently, he gained a reputation as character actor, with supporting roles in the blockbuster action films as Garland Greene in Simon West's Con Air (1997) and Rockhound in Michael Bay's Armageddon (1998). Buscemi also appeared as Donny in the Coen's cult classic black comedy film The Big Lebowski (1998).
Going into the 2000s, Buscemi continued to co-star in supporting roles. He played Seymour in Ghost World (2001) and Romero in Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002), as well as its sequel Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). He also extensively performed voice-over work for animated films, playing Randall Boggs in Monsters, Inc. (2001), a role he later reprised in its prequel Monsters University (2013), Mr. Wesley in Home on the Range (2004), Nebbercracker in Monster House (2006) and Templeton the Rat in Charlotte's Web.
In 2004, Buscemi joined the cast of the television series The Sopranos as Tony Soprano's cousin and childhood friend, Tony Blundetto, a role that earned him an Emmy Award nomination. Buscemi had previously contributed to the show as director of the third-season episode "Pine Barrens", which was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the series, and the fourth-season episode "Everybody Hurts". He appeared in episode three of season 6 as a doorman in the afterlife, which is portrayed as a country club in Tony Soprano's dream. He also directed the episodes "In Camelot", the seventh episode of season 5, and "Mr. & Mrs. John Sacrimoni Request...", the fifth episode of season 6. As well, he appeared in the music video for Joe Strummer's cover version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song".
Buscemi starred in the HBO drama series Boardwalk Empire created by Terence Winter. The series started in 2010, where Buscemi assumed the role as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (based on Enoch L. Johnson), a corrupt Atlantic City politician who rules the town during the Prohibition era. He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama for the role. In 2011 he hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live.
He hosts, directs, and produces his own web series talk show, Park Bench with Steve Buscemi, which debuted in May 2014. Buscemi won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series for the series in 2016. In January 2016, Buscemi began co-starring alongside Louis C.K. and Alan Alda in C.K.'s acclaimed comedy-drama web series Horace and Pete. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Buscemi was the first actor to sign on to the project; with Boardwalk Empire over he was available to star in the series. The two reportedly "met up in New York City where C.K. pitched the still evolving series idea to Buscemi. He signed on, on the spot, to play C.K.’s brother, Pete".
In 2017 Buscemi starred in Armando Iannucci's dark comedy and satirical film The Death of Stalin. Buscemi portrayed Nikita Khrushchev. He received critical acclaim from critics with Manohla Dargis describing his performance as "superb". The performance earned him a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
In February 2020, Buscemi was cast as Chebutykin in a New York Theatre Workshop revival of Anton Chekov's Three Sisters alongside Greta Gerwig, Oscar Isaac, and Chris Messina. The production was supposed to begin May 13, but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic with no return date set.
Arguably the blueprint for a show like "Peaky Blinders", "Boardwalk Empire" is an epic political drama starring Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson. Thompson, based on the real life criminal kingpin Enoch L. Johnson, is a political figure who rises to power in Atlantic City during the prohibition era. As it is set in a similar era to "Peaky Blinders", it offers a gritty and engaging look at what was happening on the other side of the pond.
It was nominated for nearly 60 Emmy Awards during its run, winning 20 of them. Its cast contains prolific names such as Kelly Macdonald, Jeffrey Wright, Stephen Graham, Bobby Cannavale, and Michael Shannon. Its pilot episode was even directed by the iconic Martin Scorsese.