Jumpin' Joe


So the sesaon four premiere of Boardwalk Empire aired last Sunday - with my scene intact!

I hadn't really watched the show before, but I'd heard it was pretty intense. I was pretty shocked at the readthru when they got to the (spoiler alert) forced-interracial-cuckoldry and multiple-stabs-in-the-throat-with-a-broken-bottle scene. Even though the stage directions were pretty graphic, I thought they'd tone it down a bit in the actual shoot. But if anything, it was even more intense! Had a hard time shooing my kids away from the TV before it all went down.

I did a little research before the shoot. Turns out my character, Cicero Mayor Joe Klenah, was a real guy. And yes, Al Capone did once beat him up and throw him down the steps of city hall. Stephen Graham who plays Capone was pretty convincing putting me into that chokehold - but that wasn't half as disoncerting as hearing his accent slip from 1920's Brooklyn into his native Liverpool/Manchester in between takes. ("Oh Bollocks!")

For hardcore fans of the show - the Cicero scenes are shot in a quiet neighborhood in Staten Island. The art directors took over this one block and completely transformed it with period storefronts and façades, vintage cars, and fake snow crusted on everything. (Although the day we shot was pretty frigid. You could see our breath in a couple of the takes.)

© Craig Waletzko 2016