But having worked on ‘The Sopranos,’ was it ever a concern that you didn’t want to repeat yourself or that you wanted to avoid certain things? Did you specifically set out to take this show in a different direction or were you not really concerned about any of that?
Well yeah, I mean, a little bit. Basically they gave me the book and just said, “Find a series in here.” And the book spans the entire history of Atlantic City from the mid-19th Century, when it was literally a mosquito infested swamp, to the present day. So I really could have come back with anything.
The ’70’s felt a little too close to Tony Soprano’s world and was going to involve gangsters in New Jersey [in a recent era]. The ’50’s sort of felt like Tony’s dad’s world. And the ’20’s, for many reasons, [is where] I ended up, but it just felt [right]. People looked different and sounded different and the music and pop culture were different, and yet it was still accessible. It was still modern enough that it felt like you and I could watch it and could relate to these people.
They still had the telephone and they rode on trains and ate dinner and they went to movies and they did all the things we do, but it’s still almost 100 years ago. I think if the show was in 1910, I don’t think you’d watch it and feel the same way. You’d feel like, “This feels completely different.” And I think the 1920’s is just modern enough that you say, “These are people I recognize.”
Read more of the interview at TVSQUAD.COM: An Interview with ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Creator Terence Winter.