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10/07/2013 11:21 am ET

'Boardwalk Empire' Almost Cast James Gandolfini As Nucky Thompson

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"Boardwalk Empire's" Nucky Thompson almost looked very different.

"Boardwalk" creator and showrunner Terrence Winter revealed at the show's PaleyFest: Made In NY panel that the late "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini was "one of the first people we talked about" to play the lead role, Deadline reports.

“Not only had we just worked with him, but he also bore such an uncanny resemblance to the actual Nucky,” Winter said.

Still, the talks did reportedly did not last very long, because Gandolfini was just coming off six seasons of playing another New Jersey mafia boss, Tony Soprano. Gandolfini's post-"Sopranos" project choices suggest he wanted to move away from playing mob tough guys.

The role ended up going to Steve Buscemi, who had also worked with Winter and Gandolfini on Season 5 of "The Sopranos." And judging from Buscemi's two Emmy nominations for the role, it all worked out just fine.

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