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Emmys 2011: Martin Scorsese Talks About His Directing Win for 'Boardwalk Empire'

I "always dreamed of getting involved in a project where the characters could be developed over a period of time," the Oscar-winning director says backstage.

Martin Scorsese
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Martin Scorsese

The Oscar-winning director who has brought to life some of the most famous bad guys in the history of movies said he always wanted to do it on TV as well, because, explained Martin Scorsese backstage at the Emmys after winning the directing Emmy for Boardwalk Empire, he “always dreamed of getting involved in a project where characters could be developed over a period of time, almost the way Victorian novels were written.”

Why is this story about the bad guys like many of his movies?

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“It goes back to a fascination America has with that story of the rise and also the fall that goes back to the very first gangster films made by D.W. Griffith,” said Scorsese. “You’re fascinated by the rise because there’s a kind of vicarious thrill to that. But you want to see how that can all come apart.”

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In the movie The Departed, Scorsese told the story of James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious Boston gangster. He said he never through Bulger would be caught, as he was earlier this year in California.

“Who knew?” said Scorsese.

Full Coverage of the 2011 Emmys at The Race Blog

He was asked to compare Bulger to the character played by Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire. He said that character, like many bad guys in real life and on screen,  was “trying to hold it together from the first episode.”