In The King Of Staten Island, Steve Buscemi plays “Papa,” a senior firefighter who quietly takes Pete Davidson’s fuckup lead character under his wing, letting him crash at the firehouse, provided he does a little grunt work. It’s something Buscemi knows that firefighters might do, particularly because he’s spent a little time with them.
Starting in 1980, Buscemi was a member of New York’s Ladder 55 for about four years before leaving once his acting career started to take off. He rejoined his crew on 9/11, helping clean up rubble around the World Trade Center, and he’s still on the Board Of Advisors for Friends Of Firefighters, a charity devoted to the relatives of NYFD. Above, The A.V. Club talks to Buscemi about his relationship with firemen, as well as how he knew when it was time to push his own adult son out of the nest.