Caesars Atlantic City Boardwalk Empire Exclusive Screening Recap #1

Last updated: September 18, 2012 at 1:40 am. Posted by in Atlantic City, Atlantic City Hotels, Caesars Atlantic City, Caesars Entertainment, Celebrities, Total Rewards. 2 Comments on Caesars Atlantic City Boardwalk Empire Exclusive Screening Recap #1.

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The red carpet was rolled out on Saturday night at Caesars Atlantic City for an exclusive screening of Season 3 of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Lucky guests and Total Rewards members got the chance to catch the premiere a day before the rest of America. Some of the cast and behind the scenes talent stayed with us for the evening, and were on hand for the occasion including Anthony Laciura (Eddie Kessler), Stephen DeRosa (Eddie Cantor) and Co-Executive Producer Gene Kelly.

Boardwalk Empire

See, here they are.

This was Caesars third time hosting the screening shindig here in AC. In fact, Gene Kelly even told us that being able to come to the place where Boardwalk Empire unfolds is his favorite part about working on such a popular series. Cool beans.

Boardwalk Empire 2

(We’re guessing that working alongside Martin Scorsese, who Kelly deemed “a legend” was #2).

We also got the chance to snag Stephen DeRosa away from his adoring fans for a couple quick minutes (even though one still seemed to interrupt our interview – it’s fine, Sir, peace and love) and chat. This man was totally delightful and charmed the pants off us. Check out his answers below.

Boardwalk Empire 3

Showing us his Atlantic City cufflinks. So snazzy!

TAC: What do you like best about playing Eddie Cantor?

Stephen DeRosa: One of the best things about being Eddie Cantor is that he lives through the 1920’s and he doesn’t die until the ‘60s. And when you’re on a show like this you’re like ooh! At least I’m not going to get whacked! And so that’s a really fun thing. I love the singing and dancing. I love that the writers chose to make Eddie part of the series because he was one of these really important cultural figures of the time. He represented all the kind of optimism that came with the decade because they world was changing so quickly with so many new things that were accessible to people: Music on a phonograph and on the radio, women’s clothing was changing, women were cutting their hair. It was just a whole different world. To be a source of light in this world that explores the dark side is a really fun thing for me as an actor.

TAC: Can you tell us what type of research you did for this role?

Stephen DeRosa: It’s funny. Eddie wrote an autobiography when he was in his early thirties that wasn’t very helpful because it was full of so many names that were so specific to a short period of time. If you look those people up to try to figure out who they were, no one remembers.  Like, if Snooki were to write her autobiography now, nobody would really care. When Eddie was in his sixties, he wrote another autobiography that was absolutely invaluable. My Life Is In Your Hands is the name of the book and in it, he goes through all the important people in his life and how they influenced him. Atlantic City comes up over and over in his early years. Whenever he was touring as a Vaudeville star and when he was trying out for shows early on on Broadway, they would always try out in Atlantic City. He used to love it. He would try out his comedy routines too that he would do in Broadway shows in Atlantic City. I also know that he and Nucky Johnson, the historical figure that Steve Buscemi’s character is based on, were friends. Nucky saw him go from a headliner to a big star. And that’s sort of what’s happening now in the series.

TAC: Other than what you already told us about Eddie trying out for shows in Atlantic City, did you learn any other Atlantic City related fun fact while doing this research?

Stephen DeRosa: I did find a picture of Eddie on the beach in Atlantic City. So he definitely liked to come here. There was a very famous strike that Eddie was part of in Atlantic City, the very first strike that helped form the actor’s union called Actor’s Equity. I don’t know if this is true, maybe Nucky invited them all down. Eddie and a bunch of people who were in the Zeigfeld Follies, went down to the beach and had a good time down in Atlantic City. So that’s a little fun fact.

TAC: Yes, it is! What is it like being a part of such a critically acclaimed show like this?

Stephen DeRosa: It’s an honor to be part of this group of actors because they’re incredible. There’s not a weak link in my opinion in the bunch. To be a part of this A-List of talent is amazing. And then our Executive Producer, you might have heard of him, Martin Scorsese, sometimes I can’t even breathe when I think of what a privilege it was to be chosen by him and be directed by him in the first episode. The silent hero is a guy named Mark Wahlberg who we all know. The biggest thing that makes the show in my opinion, from my limited experience, is no matter who the actor is, even with the director, you need great writing. Terry Winter and Tim Van Patten who also is the Director and one of the Executive Producers, and Howard Korder, these writers are so smart at creating this really intricate world that was the 1920’s and we don’t have TV shows that do that. The star of the show is really like the 1920’s. That’s what’s so exciting. And for them to represent all the different aspects of that is brilliant. They’re not just studying one character like Tony Soprano. They’re looking at a culture. And that’s a really cool thing.

TAC: So let’s talk a little bit behind the scenes now. What goes on behind the scenes of Boardwalk Empire? Are there any pranksters?

Stephen DeRosa: I’m lucky because my days on the set are the silly days. Mine are the singing and dancing days. Mine aren’t the beat-somebody-to-a-pulp days. Although I’d love Eddie to get a gun and just shoot people, but that’s not going to happen. It’s just fun to be silly. I don’t know of any tricks that go on backstage, but to keep the time going, I try to tell some jokes when it gets to the late hours of the morning; some dirty jokes of the 1920’s to keep everybody amused. Especially when we have big group scenes with extras. I try to keep them amused. But no sort of dirty secrets. There’s no sort of deep dark secrets in the Boardwalk yet. Maybe next year. Let’s hope for it.

Yes, we will indeed hope! We guess we will have to check back in with Stephen next year to see if this changes. In the meantime, check back here in a couple days to see our Boardwalk Empire Screening Recap #2.

 

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About The Author

A music junkie and pop culture nerd, Jackie has been storytelling and producing exclusive content through various forms of media since she was a teenager running online fan clubs on Yahoo Groups. Remember those? A Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Ithaca College took her to the City of Angels where she scored bylines in The Hollywood Reporter and dabbled in music PR. An East Coast girl at heart, she circled back to her home state of New Jersey where she penned Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Blog and hasn’t looked back since.

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