Steve Buscemi is an unlikely star with his everyman looks and ambling style. With his offbeat vision, he saw in the script for Lonesome Jim a chance to make a very low budget to-the-point film about a moment in everyone's life—that point in your '20s when you have to regroup and rethink.
The L: Being set in Indiana, were there similarities between that town and Valley Stream where you grew up?
Steve Buscemi: In that it's a small town, yeah. One thing that I liked about Indiana was that the town we were in still had trains that ran though it, I didn't think that that happened anymore. It was nice so we incorporated that into the script.
The L: Have your folks seen this?
SB: My Mom has seen it but they will both come to the premiere.
The L: Are you curious to see how they will react to seeing these parent figures in this movie and how they might relate?
SB: I imagine they will like it and I think any parent who has kids that age or even younger knows that is part of the job. Your kids are going to resent you [laughs] but hopefully that they will see that you are trying to do what is best for them. Sometimes they see it and sometimes they don't.
The L: In your next film — a remake of a Theo van Gogh movie Interview — you are going to star and direct that — does not acting in a film make it that much less stressful?
SB: Yeah, certainly on this one where we had to do a lot in a short amount of time, I think it helped not being in it, but the next film its' essentially a two character piece. I feel like I am right for that part. I didn't feel like I was right for any of the parts, I was asked to play the part of Evil but I didn't think I could do it any better than Mark Boone Junior.
The L: Are you transplanting it to the United States?
SB: Yeah, it's something that he wanted to do, he wanted to remake it in New York, and so his Dutch producing partner and American producing partner are honoring that wish.
The L: Did they come to you?
SB: Yeah. I didn't know his work at all, I knew of him, only when he was killed. I had probably heard of him before that but he wasn't really on my radar. Then they showed me some of his films that they wanted to remake and I really like his work a lot.
The L: The late actor/director John Cassevetes seems to be an influence as well given your emphasis on character.
SB: Cassevetes did it the best. His films, all of them or practically all of them, you cannot predict where they are going and they look like they are sort of being made up on the spot. Although I think he wrote those scripts very carefully. In Shadows at the end of the film it says that the film was an improvisation, so people assume that all of his films were improvisations and I don't even know how much that was. I mean it was probably, he probably wrote it out of workshops that he did where this stuff was improvised to begin with but then I think he wrote the script.
The L: Do you ever hope to stop acting and stick with directing or do you always hope to strike this balance?
SB: I suppose if I thought I could make a living only from directing I might entertain that thought but I think the movies that I will want to direct, I think it will be hard to make a living just doing that so I think that I will always be acting.