When The Observer visited Steiner Studios earlier this year for a profile of the film production facility’s founder Doug Steiner, we all dropped by Terence Winter’s office on the third floor of the 20-acre complex‘s main stages. It is there that each episode of Boardwalk Empire is painstakingly crafted by the former Sopranos writer, now showrunner.
Mr. Winter’s office is packed with paraphernalia from his past and the real past. Two huge Boardwalk Empire posters, one in Korean, one in Czech, frame a flat-screen TV. On the facing wall, a Mad magazine poster of The Sopranos hangs, signed by the entire cast; “Fuck you. -James Gandolfini” it says next to a caricature of the actor, who felt the artists made him look especially fat. Two plates hang nearby: a commemorative one of The Honeymooners, a favorite of Mr. Winter’s growing up, and a dinner plate from the original Calissimo’s restaurant in Chicago. It was actually used in the first episode of Boardwalk, in the scene where Al Capone shoots Jim Calissimo. “A good find on eBay, that was before Calissimo became real popular,” Mr. Winter said. “I’m sure it would have been much more expensive after the show.”
Alongside the old photographs, posters and props is an unusual painting of a snub-nosed revolver on a beige background. Below it, in cursive, “Cesi n’est pas un pistol.” The story of this mock Magritte is a wild one, as outlandish as the artwork itself. Being the fantastic storyteller that he is, who other than Mr. Winter should share the tale than he himself, in his own words. Read More