Boardwalk Empire: The Cast Is A Blast!!!


In My Humble Opinion:  There are shows out there that have solid casts, but none more so than HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.  The supporting cast of characters really make this show what it is; an intriguing and engaging drama set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition Era.  Now don’t get me wrong,  Steve Buscemi’s portrayal of Nucky Thompson is top-notch, but the supporting characters are just as complex and elevate the show from being pretty good to something you wouldn’t dare want to miss. Before I get into some of my favorite characters; special mention goes out to Michael Pitt’s Jimmy Darmody who was killed off at the end of Season 2.  He was probably my favorite character on the show, but unfortunately didn’t make it to Season 3.  That being said, after his character was killed off I wasn’t sure if I would still like the show as much.  Needless to say Season 3 turned out to be solid, thanks in no small part to the other supporting characters that stepped up in Jimmy’s absence.

A close second to Jimmy as far as my favorites go is Jack Huston’s Richard Harrow.  Harrow is a disfigured WWI veteran that was originally Jimmy’s right hand man.  Although the character wears a mask hiding half of his disfigured  face, actor Jack Huston is able to convey more emotion with half of his face shielded than most actors can with 100 percent of their faculties.  Claiming to have killed over 63 men, you never know what or how Richard will react in a situation, gently or violently…which adds to his appeal.

Next is Stephen Graham’s portrayal of Al Capone.  Personally, when Boardwalk Empire ends its run (whenever that may be) I cling to the hope that the powers that be will approach Graham for a spinoff simply called Capone.  His portrayal of a younger Al Capone rising through the ranks to eventually run Chicago is spot on.  Graham balances the character’s emotions in a way that makes a cold-blooded gangster such as Capone hard not to like.  One minute he’s having quality time with his handicapped son, the next he’s beating a rival gangster to a bloody pulp in a bar.

Given the number of characters on the show, I obviously can’t go through them all but some others that I love to tune in for every week or did before they were killed are;  Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret Thompson, Michael Shannon’s Nelson Van Alden, Shea Wigham’s Eli Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg’s Arnold Rothstein, Vincent Piazza’s Lucky Luciano, Michael Kenneth Williams Chalky White, Bobby Canavale’s Gyp Rosseti, and Charlie Cox’s Owen Slater. (Last two characters are dead unfortunately)

Few Side Notes: I’m really looking for Vincent Piazza’s character Lucky Luciano to step it up next season.  I know from my reading that the true life Luciano was pretty successful when it came to organized crime so watching this character come into his own and rise in the ranks like Graham’s Capone is great fun.  I’m really digging Shea Wigham’s Eli Thompson now more than ever.  I don’t know if it’s the stint he had in prison but he seems to have gotten much more responsible/serious and isn’t as goofy as he was in Season’s 1 or 2, I mean he’s actually kind of intimidating now.

If you haven’t checked out Boardwalk Empire you need to.  I feel confident in saying that it rivals The Sopranos when it comes to not only its portrayal of gangsters and the individuals around them, but also when it comes to its stellar supporting cast as well.

4 Comments on “Boardwalk Empire: The Cast Is A Blast!!!”

  1. marksackler says:

    Don’t forget Julianne Nicholson’s Esther Randolph. I didn’t even expect her character to return for season 3, so I did some research after the fact. Randolph is closely based on the real life Mabel Willebrandt, who indeed was an assistant attorney general, under Harry Daugherty, responsible for enforcing the Volstead act. Now, in 1924, Willebrandt advocated strongly for the appointment of one of her justice department allies to head an investigation bureau–which later became the FBI–to look into the Harding administration scandals. That ally, of course, was one J. Edgar Hoover. Wouldn’t it be cool to see the young J. Edgar enter the cast? Who do you suppose they might get to play that role?

    • That would be pretty cool, another notable name from that era that would be interesting to see pop up would be Elliot Ness…that could enhance the whole Capone story line anyway. A young J Edgar Hoover..hmmmm…Ryan Gosling is probably too big a name…gonna have to give this one some thought

      • marksackler says:

        Ness would be cool, but not in season 4. Not unless they blow the real world timelines out of the water. Ness didn’t even join the Bureau of Investigation until 1927, and the push to get Capone didn’t start until the Hoover administration took over in early 1929. Although they may have shifted some historical facts by a few months, they have stayed pretty true to the timelines otherwise. [Example, “Big Jim” Colosimo was killed in May of 1920, but in the opening of Boardwalk Empire Episode 2, Season 1, his funeral is taking place in a snow storm in January.]
        I am guessing that season 4 starts in late 1923 or sometime in 1924, after the death of Warren Harding, in the early days of the Coolidge administration.

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