When Steve Buscemi was 22, he was a firefighter assigned to work at Manhattan’s Engine House 55 in Little Italy. “I really loved firefighting,” says the Boardwalk Empire star, now 56. “The only reason I left was that I loved acting more.” But after 9/11, Buscemi reconnected with his old comrades, doing what he could to assist families of the 343 firefighters who died that day.
“I hate the reason I’ve been reconnected to the job, but I’m so grateful I am,” he says. As an advisory board member of the Brooklyn-based Friends of Firefighters, he donates his time to such causes as attending Mass and family lunch for the 2nd Battalion on 9/11 anniversaries and participating in a bone marrow drive for a 2-year-old child of a Williamsburg firefighter. He’s also doing his part onscreen, appearing in the HBO documentary A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY, which premieres Sept. 8.