The show stars Van Zandt as Frank Tagliano, a mob fixer who enters the witness protection program and ends up in Lillehammer, Norway. There, under the alias Johnny Henrikson, Van Zandt’s character is a nightclub owner and father of two whose life becomes considerably more complicated in the new season when his former mob associates learn that he’s still alive.
Not only does Van Zandt, the E Street Band guitarist and Sopranos actor, star in Lilyhammer, he wrote the theme song in Season One and did the entire score for Season Two, he recently told Rolling Stone. “That’s really fun, something I’ve never done completely before,” he said.
Although Van Zandt was acclaimed for his portrayal of Sylvio Dante on The Sopranos, the guitarist said he feels like a novice actor. “I did 10 years on Sopranos, but the whole craft of acting is relatively new to me,” he said. “I’m still learning that, and I’ll be learning that forever. I had the wonderful good luck of having Jimmy Gandolfini as my mentor and David Chase as my godfather, two of the most talented guys in the history of television. So that still feels new to me. Lilyhammer is only the second show I’ve ever done. Between TV and the theater world, that’s a lot of new stuff to explore.”