... And has some thoughts about Bon Iver

By Clark Collis
February 04, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
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HBO
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  • TV Show
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  • HBO
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Actor Bobby Cannavale first got into rock music at the tender age of six. “My parents divorced when I was a kid,” recalls the New Jersey native, whose credits include The Station Agent, Boardwalk Empire, and last year’s Ant-Man. “I used to go to my grandparents’ house — my Dad lived with [them] after my parents broke up — on Sundays. I’d go there for dinner and I’d snoop around. And I found a record collection that belonged to my Dad. It was the first time that I thought my Dad might be cool. He had Tommy, Quadrophenia, he had Aladdin Sane. That album cover was just sick. There’s something about opening up an album and being like, ‘Oh my god, that’s David Bowie, what is he? Is this a man? Is this a woman? Is this a robot? What is this?’ I still listen to a lot of music from the 1970s. Very much like cinema, I think that’s the golden years. Yeah, Bon Iver’s cool. I get it — he got dumped, he went up into Wisconsin, or wherever, and he wrote a f—ing record. You know what? Bruce Springsteen did that years ago.”

In short, Cannavale would seem perfectly positioned to play record label founder Richie Finestra, the lead character in HBO’s new, ’70s-era music business drama Vinyl, which premieres Feb. 14, and is executive-produced by Mick Jagger, Martin Scorsese, and Boardwalk Empire showrunner Terence Winter, among others. “I feel like this is the right kind of show for me to do,” agrees the actor. “It really puts me in touch with the time that I am familiar with.”

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So, what are Cannavale’s favorite records that he actually owns on vinyl? The answers are Bob Dylan’s classic 1975 breakup album Blood on the Tracks and Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the Edge of Town, which was released three years later. “Those are my two most played records,” he says. “Springsteen was, like, my guy. I’m from New Jersey and The River was the first record that I actually tried to save my Christmas money and bought. Anytime I hear Darkness on the Edge of Town, I hear like, ‘I’m getting out of here and I’m going over there. And I don’t know what it is over there but I know it’s where I’m supposed to be.’ And then, when I turned 20, 21, I got super into Bob Dylan and became a fanatic about owning everything of his. People have written about love and breakups over the years, but never is it so complicated [as on Blood on the Tracks]. A song like ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,’ it sounds like one thing and it’s saying another. I just find it to be a deeply complicated, complex study of a relationship ending and how hard that is. It just leaves me with a feeling of something better in the future. I mean, I’m sorry, but nothing compares to Blood on the Tracks.”

You can see a trailer for Vinyl, below.

A version of this story appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1402, on newsstands now

Episode Recaps

Vinyl

2016 HBO series starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, and Ray Romano
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  • TV Show
seasons
  • 1
rating
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status
  • In Season
network
  • HBO

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