Eventually enrolling at Manhattan’s Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute two years after he left high school, he studied acting by day and did stand-up comedy at night. Buscemi was good enough to get a slot at New York’s prestigious comedy club, The Improv, but realised that he wanted more to be an actor. “I liked working with other people rather than being up there alone.”
…Steve Buscemi’s first screen job came courtesy of Eric Mitchell, who cast him in The Way it Is. But it was his third film, Parting Glances, in which he played a dying HIV-positive rock musician, that got the ball rolling, Buscemi says. (“The first couple of films didn’t get released until after Parting Glances.”)
While working with the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, Alexandre Rockwell and the Coen brothers turned him into a mainstay of American independent cinema, Buscemi has avoided pigeonholing by also appearing in more mainstream fare, including the ludicrous Michael Bay-directed Armageddon and Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Con Air.