[WARNING: The following interview with Boardwalk Empire costar Michael Pitt contains spoilers about Sunday night’s second season finale.].
The brooding, ambitious Jimmy Darmody is no more. But the actor who played him, Michael Pitt, says he respected producers’ stunning decision to kill off his pivotal Boardwalk Empire character in the show’s second season finale Sunday night.
“I like it,” wrote the often press-shy Pitt, responding to questions from EW via e-mail about the finale. “As much as I will miss working with everyone on this incredible project, I thought that it would be very shocking, and I’m always drawn to that.”
Showrunner Terence Winter decided near the end of shooting the season that Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) should execute his young protégé-turned-rival in the finale’s last moments. The dramatic conclusion caused an explosion of shock and outrage on Twitter, as fans reeled at the loss of a favorite character. (Read our interview with Winter explaining the finale twist here.)
Filming that intense final rain-drenched scene, Pitt recalled, “It was cold and very wet. We were getting rained on and having to run into tents and strip off all of our clothes to try to warm ourselves with heaters. We did that all night.”
The exit might cause some to wonder about an industry rumor in October, when Pitt split with his talent agent amid a claim the actor was “difficult” to work with, but Winter said that description is “absolutely not true.” “Michael is a total professional,” Winter says. “He’s intense, of course, but I don’t think you can do that job without being intense.” Pitt said,”I’m confident that I will be judged by my performance and not by the ‘he said, she said.'”
Looking back on his time on the show, Pitt writes, “Every morning I remember thinking that it is so amazing to wake up in Brooklyn, drive 20 minutes to a set, and work with such excellent professionals.”
Pitt’s breakout role was on Dawson’s Creek and he has since appeared in films like Wonderland and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and headlined Gus Van Sant’s Last Days. In addition to acting, Pitt sings and plays guitar in his band Pagoda. He says he isn’t sure of his next move. “But the sky is the limit,” he writes.