Steve Buscemi is famous for a lot of things. Between being a mainstay of the Coen Brothers’ filmography, returning to his original FDNY headquarters in the wake of 9/11, and being that actor that your mom just KNOWS she’s seen in another movie before but can’t quite place the title, he’s a true pop cultural renaissance man. This week, he stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and discussion turned to another signature Buscemi hallmark: the fact that his characters die onscreen with astounding regularity.
Naturally, Colbert asked the same question any of us would regarding the subject: Which is your favorite? Surprisingly, Buscemi did NOT respond with almost indisputably his most brutal and memorable death (the wood chipper scene in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo…spoiler alert) but instead with one from another Coen Brothers’ film, cult favorite The Big Lebowski. In the film (again, spoiler alert), Buscemi’s Donny dies of a heart attack during the film’s climax. Buscemi notes that when he first read the script, he thought, “This character is such a nice guy. There’s no way they’re gonna kill him.” Which, obviously, turned out to be exactly what they did.
Buscemi dying onscreen turned out to be a hot topic of discussion during his interview, which also touched on current Ohio governor and contender for the Republican presidential nomination John Kasich being so repulsed by his death in Fargo that he turned off the movie. While we know very little of the governor’s taste in film, we’d like to recommend he check out Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams, which features Steve Buscemi playing a mad scientist who manages to survive the entirety of the movie’s running time.