“You can’t be half a gangster,” explained Jimmy Dormady (Michael Pitt) to his mentor, Enoch “Nucky” Thompson (Steve Buscemi), the central character in HBO’s prohibition-era drama Boardwalk Empire (available to stream anytime on HBO Now). While Nucky’s financial interests were tied to bootlegging, as the Atlantic County Treasurer, he did his best to curate his public image to be that of a respected politician. Though, over the course the show’s run, Nucky came to realize that Jimmy was right, he couldn’t be just half a gangster, and if he wanted to win, he absolutely had to go all in. So, the next time you’re on the fence about something, let these Nucky Thompson lines help you when it’s time to really commit to yourself.
“You wanna be a gangster in my town, then you’ll pay me for the privilege.”
Like any corrupt politician with dollar signs in his eyes, Nucky likes making a profit off of the criminal activity that goes on in his town. And whatever illegal activity that he does allow, he wants it to run smoothly. When it doesn’t, those who are involved can end up paying a steep price for their meddling, as Jimmy’s quick to learn after his truck hijacking goes wrong. Even if you haven’t gone all in just yet, it’s important to know exactly what kind of game is being played, and how you can benefit from it in the meantime.