Tuesday, November 9, 2010


F/M/K: James Gandolfini, Steve Buscemi, Michael Imperioli

Julie: Okay, NVC, first of all I'm glad you've chosen this HOLY TRINITY with which to kick off our Sophie's Choice: F.M.L. — I mean F.M.K. column, because I thought about it recently while I was watching Boardwalk Empire and I nearly had to slash my own face — CHICAGO PROSTITUTE STYLE — out of decision-related angst.

Readers, correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that I'm the only woman on Planet Steve with a huge-emi Buscemi crush. I've wanted to hit it since Parting Glances, and after Reservoir Dogs I'd let him part my Mr. Pink Heyyyyy. I cringe whenever people describe him as creepy, bug-eyed, snaggle-toothed, and hunched over — because that's what I think makes him handsome? I also think he's magneto in that I can't turn away from him on screen — ever — and I also just think he's beautiful and sexy. OKAY? My boyf doesn't like me to out my Buscexuality, because he thinks it makes people think he's ugly, but I don't care. I would marry Buscemi.

I would do it! I'd be his second redheaded bride and we'd drink red wine late into the night while jazz played, and I'd ask him about being a fireman, and then I'd pretend to be Enid Coleslaw — a.k.a. just me at 15 — when we were intimate on Sunday mornings. We'd go see theater at St. Ann's on weekends. I'd learn to cook and I'd make him a leg of lamb, and while it was stewing and the bone stuck out at a perpendicular angle in the, um, stew pot?, we'd make jokes about the wood chipper in Fargo.


Gandolfini is who people are thinking about when they talk shit about Buscemi as a leading man. Because Tony Soprano casts an immense shadow, on TV and beyond. That character gifted equal parts dad stuff and Big Sex Bastard stuff to any woman who grew up under his influence, and he's also, without a doubt, with a single role, the pre-Moreau Brando of our generation, and I love him. I love him so much. He and Frances McDormand, speaking of Fargo again, are my favorite actors of the current moment (oh, and Phylicia Rashad). And because we live in an age where our stars are 25 and Willow Smith, I think they're our defacto "America's Parents," whereas back in the day they'd just be called, like, Shelley Duvall and Jack Nicholson. Just great actors who have faces God gave them because they look great scared or scary, and they are just wonderful. I'd fuck Gandolfini. I'd fuck him like a Russian with one leg, like a post-Hand That Rocks the Cradle Annabella Sciorra, and then I'd fuck him like Carm, when her hair was still big and ear lobe-length. I'd wear a ton of dripping chintz jewelry, and I'd be on top. But you can't marry Tony! You can't even marry Jimmy Gandolfini. You'd see him in God of Carnage and you'd remember the carnage — fondly, even — though you wanted to kick yourself and kill him at the time. But you'd smile and remember how small he made you feel that time, with his pot roast hands on the small of your baby lamb chop back. There is a lot of lamb imagery going on right now. And that brings us to beautiful Christo-fuh.

Kill: Michael Imperioli. Sigh. This hurts me more than it hurts you, Imperial beauty. Sacrificial lamb to the slaughter. But I have to kill Imperioli. I DON'T WANT TO. I just have less baggage with him. Ugh. This is making me sick. He was the only reason I got through The Lovely Bones. Okay, well — Stanley Tucci's "Chester the Molestor" character was also pretty hilarious. Like, SKETCH COMEDY funny. Anyway — I have a giant crush on Michael Imperioli. I saw him on the subway gabbing with pals, seeming wonderful, and I remember feeling distinctly embarrassed that I had fresh-from-acupuncture makeup-less looks and Big Curly Hair. Not that that’s not a look, I just wasn’t confident. But if I had my gloss poppin' and my hair did, what would I have done? Nothing! I would have just melted and maybe sat near him in his car. But Saint Michael I have to sacrifice. For Adrianna. Poor Ade. I could write about Ade until I die. And with that, my dear Christoper/Michael/Michael from Godfather/Jimmy from Boardwalk Empire — Mr. Imperioli — I pinch your nostrils and hope you pass into the night, if not painlessly, at least Comfortably Numb.

*          *          *          *

Natasha: Julie, Julez, light of my life, fire of my loins, JU–HU–LIE. I say this to you in my most Mariah Carey-cum-mustachioed-social worker-In-Precious voice, “I hear what you’re saying.” But like the Emancipation of MiMi taught us, I need to be REAL 2 MYSELF. This choice, as it often does comes down to one thing: Freud. I would marry Gandolf. James Gandolfini is a beast of a man: a guy who encapsulates the breadth of Brando’s sexual appeal throughout the years. Watching him is like seeing Duchamp’s nude descend the stairs: in Gandolf’s multitudes we see Brando’s brutish Kowalski, the age-ravaged yet sentimental Paul in Last Tango, and even some sweaty forehead glimpses of the eccentric in Island of Dr. Moreau. He is the ultimate Alpha. That man flips so many primordial triggers in me that I just can’t deny. But if the great Austrian Jew of Ye Cigars and Cocaine taught us/our analysts anything it’s that there are some taboos so firmly in place that they must be respected (see: Family Romances), so rather than ball the Great Gandolf like a depressed Mercedes Benz saleswoman ensnaring a father figure in some sexual psychodrama that has all the levity of a community theater’s rendition of Equus, I will instead marry him. I know! But I’m marrying the *~*~pErFoRmEr*~*; the guy who does Mamet and Williams and David Chase justice, who was born in Jersey and will take care of meeee! Have you seen him in a robe? I mean come on, I just wanna sit on his lap forever, no one can ever hurt me there.

Now the man’s lap who I would bounce on forever, until my hips shattered from the 7.9 Richter scale fuckquake we would have is Imperioli. GOOD GAWD! Have you seen him go from guido to East Village gypsy with his wily mustache, Serpico leather jacket, and slender hips? He’s like a Voltron of fuck parts. And with Christofahh I feel like he’s crazy without being socio, like Tony. Imperioli, with the chest hair and the gonzo schonz, just drives me wild. Michael and I would have great theater people sex. All performative and smelly. Also, oh man, I hate to be Shallow Hal starring Jack Black here but there’s something womanly about fat dudes like Gandolf. Like when we’re grinding, I can’t deal with chesticle flapping or swaying, that’s what puts Imperioli on top for me because his nipples don’t fall far from his swarthy chest. ARE YOU READING THIS MICHAEL IMPERIOLI, I WILL MAKE YOU SEE STARS THROUGH MY MIDDLE PARTS!!

Which brings me to the sacrifice, Bushemz. I know, I know this is the kind of scene in every Cameron Crowe movie where The Good Guy, The Nice Guy, The Character Actor, gets thrown into the woodchipper because he’s strange, or tepid, or directs his own independent films or whatever, but there’s a quality to Buscemi that I fear. Something about his smartness makes me feel the neurosis would be on full tilt between us. I don’t find him sexually charismatic (even though he is not ugly at all, in fact it's his intelligence and talent that makes him super attractive), but I do find him a little too mateable, which is a combination I’ve done before and it only makes me angsty and claustrophobic. I feel as though we're too similar, that we'd congeal around each other in a glob of safety and warmth but with no sparks. I already know this is a fatal mistake, confusing drama with depth, and I’m certain that Buscemi would make a fine mate, but I’m just not ready to abandon a flickering belief that the man I spend my life with needs to set me on fire — physically and spiritually and perhaps literally.

Julie Klausner wrote a BOOK and Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote a BOOK, and both of them are experts in concurrently frightening and arousing weak men with discourse and panache. Sophie's F.M.K. will be a regular column for The Hairpin!

25 Comments / Post A Comment


You both understand that James Gandolfini is gay, right?

Elisabeth Donnelly

Ms. Klausner, you are not alone, my bff had a Buscemi shrine on her teenage bedroom wall. For reals. And this was circa, like, Trees Lounge. Gandolfini is so creepy sexy that he would have to be the F in FMK forever. He doesn't suffer fools lightly! He can be Tony Soprano and also super funny, WC Fields style, in In the Loop! I have way too many opinions on this combo.


Your BFF sounds like a hawt bitch!


My Buscemi-crush started in high school with Ghost World, because I thought it would be awesome to hook up with angry dorky neurotic jazz-loving Seymour. Totally understand the attraction.


F - Gandolfini... I like a man who can toss me around a bit
M - Imperioli... I want to wake up next to him every morning and cook him pancakes
K - Buscemi... Sorry, Steve. You're a great actor, but there's just no there there.

What amazes me is that it took me exactly 3 seconds to figure this out. It was almost instinctual.

Jellia Jamb

ZOMG, I am so with you regarding Steve and James -- I agree with everything you both said about both of them, and Even Everything You Did Not Say. Well, except I would be okay with congealing with Steve. Worth it! The fire would be there for me; it would just surprise me behind closed doors, I'm sure of it.

One of my best dreams was when I got together with a hybrid of Tony Soprano and James Gandolfini, and even though I knew in the dream that Tony Soprano was BAD, all I could think (Sally Field-style) was, "He likes me, he really likes me!" And then I woke up and thought, "Eeesh, Tony Soprano, that's a semi-sketchy dream for a pychologically healthy gal like me AND YET -- He Likes Me!" It still makes me feel all warm and swoony just thinking about it.

I'm exceedingly fond of Michael, but he never Sent me somehow. Of course, that could change at any moment.

Clarence Rosario

OK, this actually makes me feel better about my wife's crush on Gandolfini. Because like Julie's "boyf" (egads!), it make me feel insecure in my looks. Which are, needless to say, magnificent.

Edith Zimmerman

Fuck Gandolfini, marry Imperioli, kill Steve. I mean duhhhhh.


Klausner, it's like you've never even watched him draw me in on Detroit 1-8-7.


I have long been in love with Steve Buscemi and it pains me to see my dream rabbit vilified in such a manner.

Jon Custer

I'd def. fuck Buscemi if I weren't super heterosexual, but only if he bought me a period-accurate 1920s suit first and I got to be the "top."
Also will you guys please do Hemingway, Nabokov, and Pynchon next time? (CAN YOU HANDLE THE TEETH?)Here's some photos to get you started: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Ernest_Hadley_and_Bumby_Hemingway.jpg

Angela Serratore

YOU'RE FORGETTING SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT, which is that all of these guys will cheat on you, but Buscemi is the only one who will feel bad about it, making him the best husband choice.


Imperioli would never cheat! (Seriously he's been married for like 15 years and has kids.)

Jellia Jamb

Which means he already has cheated. Muah ha ha!

Kristina Lucarelli

I too am a huge Buscemi fan, so you're not alone! When I find people like Busc attractive, I tend to refer to them as "deformed hot" or "ugly hot" because it is those strange qualities that make them so desirable. Now I'm having midday dreams about Nucky. Rawrrrr

In short, Marry Buscemi, Fuck Imperioli, Kill Gandolfini.


"Voltron of fuck parts." Still trying to fully grasp that picture.


Buscemi is positioning himself as a sex symbol in Boardwalk Empire and I'm tempted to buy into it! If his lips could be isolated sovereign of his face....

I'm a Buscemi fan regardless!

Katie Walsh

Jesus, ladies. That got me all hot and bothered!


I've never had an encounter with MI, but I've seen Steve B. on the street in Brooklyn, and I have to say that he is WAY sexier in person than he is on the screen. It's weird how much better looking in person he was then on TV considering that it is supposedly usually the opposite.

My "encounter" with James Ganolfini: I was at my Soho chiropractor for my bad back. I'm lying on the table getting heat or stim (not nearly as exciting as it sounds) when I hear my chiropractor talking to someone. The 'patient' says something like "I love when you adjust my back, but I'm always afraid I'm going to fart when you do it." The chiropractor laughs and says "everybody farts." Two minutes later my chiropractor comes into the room I'm in and says, "Did you recognize that voice? It was James Gandolfini!"

So my claim to fame is that I heard James Gandolfini talking about farting.

Snood Mood

I've had a thing for Steve B. since Reservoir Dogs. He may not be handsome, but he's sexy as fuck.


Totally worth the read, just for the "Mr. Pink Heyyyyy". And yes, I did scroll back up to be certain I had the correct number of of Y's. OCD is a bitch.

David Morehouse

Funny stuff. For the record of the Fuck Marry Kill game itself, I'd fuck Imperioli, Marry Gandolfini, and kill Buscemi. (Damn those are some hard names to spell.)


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