The Creator of Boardwalk Empire Is Hoping the Show Gets a Six Year Run: Boardwalk Empire Creator Obsessed with Crime

By Graveland, Bill | The Canadian Press, June 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Creator of Boardwalk Empire Is Hoping the Show Gets a Six Year Run: Boardwalk Empire Creator Obsessed with Crime


Graveland, Bill, The Canadian Press


BANFF, Alta. - Terence Winter has always had criminal leanings but fortunately the creator of the critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire channelled his lifelong obsession into something good.

Boardwalk Empire is a period drama starring Steve Buscemi, focusing on Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, a political figure who rose to prominence and controlled Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Prohibition period of the 1920s and 1930s.

It has been renewed for a third season.

The inspiration that has driven him to spend much of his career writing about criminals -- he was also a major writer on The Sopranos -- came from an unexpected place.

"I'm always interested in criminals and crime. People ask me how this started and aside from growing up in Brooklyn in an area that kind of has a long history in mob type behaviour I could point it to the movie version of Oliver Twist," Winter said with a chuckle during a break at the Banff World Media Festival. He is also listed as a writer and executive producer of the show.

"I remember I was a kid growing fascinated with pickpocketing -- that was the subplot -- Fagan and his pickpockets in that underground gang. A year later the Sting came out and it was all about conmen and I became interested in that."

Winter, 51, also worked in a butcher shop that turned out to be owned by Paul Castellano. who was then the head of the powerful Gambino crime family.

"I got to rub elbows with guys not unlike the people who were in the Sopranos and just saw how they thought and how they talked and how they operated. It was just a world I was familiar with and was comfortable writing about."

Winter was an executive producer for The Sopranos and wrote or co-wrote 25 episodes over the HBO series six year run.

Then came Boardwalk Empire.

"I was just finishing up on the Sopranos -- HBO gave me the book and said why don't you read this to see if you think there might be a TV series in here and by the way Martin Scorsese is attached to this thing," he said. …

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