Best known for his performance as mobster Bobby Baccalieri Jr. in the late, great HBO drama The Sopranos, actor Steve Schirripa moved this spring from covering the fictional world of organized crime to the real one, signing up to front and exec produce Nothing Personal.
The six-part doc series, produced by Cineflix Productions for Investigation Discovery (ID), gives a gritty look at real-life contract killers with a combination of re-enactments, archive and interviews.
The network renewed the show at its Upfront presentation in April, and a second season will launch later this year. Realscreen caught up with Schirripa in New York to talk about the new series and his fascination with the “heinous world” of true crime.
How would you describe Nothing Personal to viewers who haven’t seen it?
We take you [inside] the minds of hit men. It’s not just mob hit men, it’s all kinds of stories: a woman who hired a hit man to kill her husband, and then a hit man to kill the hit man. Two kids, 13 and 16, who grew up together, [who became] hit men for a Mexican drug cartel. We have some of the killings on camera, we have the victims’ families… if you’re a true crime fan, it is a fascinating, heinous world.
What stoked your interest to get involved with this series?
I’m a very big true crime fan – big, big, big. [ID] asked me to do something like this, and I’m a big fan of Dateline and 48 Hours and those kinds of docu-drama shows, so I’m exec producing this.
Was there anything particularly surprising that you learned while making the show?
Yes – with all the hit men, there’s one common thread: money. It seems to be the factor with everything. Not that it was a surprise, but every single one – it wasn’t about hatred, it was all about money.
Were there any particularly gruesome cases?
There was a gentleman who divorced his wife, didn’t want to be married to her. She remarried, had quadruplets – six kids in total – and he paid a guy $10,000 to kill her. Horrible, horrible, horrible.