‘Boardwalk Empire’: Why Michael Pitt Was ‘Adamant’ About Learning Everything About Jimmy Darmody

In the history of Boardwalk Empire, there’s one character that fans still miss, and that’s Jimmy Darmody, played by Michael Pitt. Jimmy is on his way up to the top, that is until he crosses Nucky Thompson (Steve Buscemi) for the last time. Pitt reveals that he was “adamant” about learning all he could about his character while he was on the hit series. Read on to learn more.

Jimmy Darmody is Nucky Thompson’s protégé until he crosses him for the last time

Michael Pitt
Michael Pitt | Mauro Fagiani/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Nucky warns Jimmy not to cross him, but he does time and time again. The final straw occurs when Jimmy takes a hit out on Nucky, which is something Nucky can’t let slide. Nucky meets Jimmy and ends up shooting him twice. The death haunts Nucky for the rest of his life, and it’s his final undoing. Years later, Jimmy’s son, Tommy, all grown up, shoots Nucky for everything that happened to his family.

Jimmy meets his fate in the finale of season 2

Many fans were shocked at the end of such a surprising story. Jimmy could have gone on to do so much more. He has a son to raise, but instead he’s killed and Tommy’s life will never be the same again. It’s hard to believe that Jimmy couldn’t have somehow made up with Nucky and they could go back to the old days, but that isn’t how it works on Boardwalk Empire.

Why Michael Pitt was ‘adamant’ about learning everything about Jimmy Darmody

Michael Pitt spoke with Variety about his character and his untimely end. He was very dedicated to playing Jimmy and he revealed he spent a lot of time with the showrunner Terence Winter and the writers learning all he could about him.

“I was really adamant about talking to the writers,” Pitt revealed. “I would go see them on my days off. I tried to have a meeting at least every script just to talk things through, because yeah, one doesn’t want it to be vague. … Your whole job as an actor is to make choices about the character, and because you don’t know what’s in store, then it makes things really difficult to make those choices.”

Pitt wanted to know all the ‘possibilities’


‘Boardwalk Empire’: Steve Buscemi Reveals Nucky’s Motives for Killing Jimmy Darmody

Pitt worked extremely hard in his role as Jimmy Darmody. He wanted to understand everything about his character even though he had a more than hectic schedule at the time. Pitt wanted to gather as much information as he could about the role he was playing.

“I was really adamant about knowing what they did know, or about knowing possibilities … the more information, the better,” Pitt said. “And I was really adamant about putting in that work even though that work schedule was already insane. From the first season, I worked seven days a week for like a year and a half. I just worked on it probably harder than anything to date.”

The death of Jimmy Darmody is an important part of Boardwalk Empire. Nucky seals his own fate by killing off his former protégé. But Tommy Darmody gets revenge for his father’s murder years later in a twist of fate.