Pete Davidson’s Bupkis Was ‘Saved’ By Joe Pesci’s Approval

At first, Pete Davidson was skeptical of Lorne Michaels’s suggestion. He responded, “The guy hasn’t worked in like 30 years, he famously hates working… why?” Lorne told him, “All actors are waiting for is a good part.” Sure enough, despite being so picky that he only starred in three movies throughout the past 20 years, Joe Pesci enjoyed the script of “Bupkis” enough to get on board.

“Dude f***ing changed my life, he saved my life,” Pete explained. “He liked the material enough to do it but he… we had a really great conversation. It was really honest and organic, and we kind of hit it off and, it was out of love that he did it because he doesn’t need to do anything.” Beyond simply adding some extra star power to the series, the casting also gave Pete that extra boost of confidence in the series that he desperately needed. As he told Jon Bernthal, “I needed that validation from someone like that, like so badly… I got the guy no one can get. And that changed my life. I owe him everything.”

“Bupkis” turned out a success, getting renewed for a second season and earning most critics’ begrudging respect. The show is crass at times, sure, but it shows that Pete’s creative work is far more thoughtful and introspective than the tabloids’ coverage of him might suggest. As the show takes a particularly dark turn in its final few episodes and Pesci’s character gets harder-hitting material to work with, it gets easier to see what drew Pesci to the role. Pesci’s involvement in the show might’ve seemed like a ridiculous bit of luck for Pete at first, but after seeing the finished project, it starts to make a lot more sense.

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