If you asked 10 people to name Steve Buscemi’s definitive role, you could get 10 different answers: Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire, Tony B from The Sopranos, the McDonald’s breakfast fanatic from Big Daddy, Mr. Pink from Reservoir Dogs, the “Marietta Mangler” from Con Air, “How Do You Do, Fellow Kids” from 30 Rock, the voice of Randall from Monsters, Inc. And so on. The best chance for two people giving the same answer might be Buscemi’s character in the Coen Brothers classic Fargo, affectionally known as The Guy Who Gets Fed Into a Wood Chipper. It’s a part the actor might not take today, though, because as he told GQ, he’s over getting murderered:
There is one recurring theme from Buscemi’s previous work that he is determined to leave behind. “I don’t have the tolerance for violence that I used to,” says the man whose most famous of many cinematic deaths involved getting hacked to bits with an ax and then shoved into a wood chipper in Fargo. After he got whacked on The Sopranos, he made a half promise to himself that he would stop taking on roles where he was murdered. (“Where does it go after you get killed by Tony Soprano? That should be the cutoff.”)
Getting killed by Tony Soprano is like catching a touchdown pass from Peyton Manning. You’ve peaked. Buscemi also isn’t overly fond of playing the killer, either. “It was hard for me to divorce myself from the feelings that it was actually me doing it,” he said about a scene from Boardwalk Empire where Nucky shoots a teenager. Luckily for him, the New York City hero will be saving lives in The King of Staten Island, the Pete Davidson-starring comedy where he plays a firefighter. It will be released digitally on June 12.