While many musicians have caught the acting bug, Bruce Springsteen has been immune. Springsteen made notable contributions to a handful of film soundtracks like “Streets of Philadelphia” and “The Wrestler,” but he prefers not to appear in front of the movie camera. In fact, Springsteen’s only IMDB “acting” credit is for the short film “Hunter of Invisible Game,” which is his own music video. That’ll change soon as the rock legend has been cast as a mortuary owner in the Netflix series Lilyhammer, which stars his longtime E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt.
While it would have made much more sense for Springsteen to drive over to the New Jersey set of The Sopranos — which also featured Van Zandt as mobster Silvio Dante – and read a few lines, Springsteen will instead appear on his guitarist’s drama about a former mob boss that’s been placed in the Witness Protection Program in the titular Norwegian town. Springsteen won’t actually have head to Lilyhammer for his cameo as Deadline reports Springsteen’s scenes were filmed in New York. (That’s Springsteen and Van Zandt in costume and on set September 4th in the photo up top.) Van Zandt’s former Sopranos co-star Tony Sirico, a.k.a. Paulie “Walnuts,” will also appear on the upcoming third season of Lilyhammer.
People will argue that Springsteen’s first acting role was his hilarious cameo as John Cusack’s conscience in the 2000 film High Fidelity, but that appearance was filed under “As Himself” and therefore didn’t count as Springsteen’s true “acting” debut. Springsteen was also rumored to portray himself in Judd Apatow’s 2009 film Funny People, either as the MySpace party performer (James Taylor in the film) or in the role that eventually went to Eminem. Rolling Stone asked Apatow last year whether the director ever sought to collaborate with Springsteen. “I feel like I did once and failed, but I’ll take another run at him,” Apatow said. “He was hilarious on Jimmy Fallon wearing the Seventies outfit. I’m coming for him.”