Steven Van Zandt Recalls Crazy Experience Pitching Lilyhammer to Netflix

As Lilyhammer celebrates its 10th anniversary, star Steven Van Zandt looks back on the crazy pitch he gave Netflix for their first original series.

As Lilyhammer celebrates its 10th anniversary, star Steven Van Zandt recalls the crazy pitch he gave Netflix. Most audiences either know Van Zandt from his work as Silvio Dante on HBO’s The Sopranos or from his music career as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. However, he also starred as Frank Tagliano in Lilyhammer, Netflix’s first original series, which debuted in 2012. Lilyhammer, created by Eilif Skodvin and Anne Bjørnstad, follows Van Zandt’s former New York mobster hiding out in the small Norwegian town of Lillehammer after testifying against his former associates.

To celebrate Lilyhammer‘s 10th anniversary, Van Zandt sat down with Netflix’s Co-CEO Ted Sarandos to reminisce about the series with WeAreNetflix. As Van Zandt recalls, Netflix was searching for content to help launch their original programming, and it was as easy as calling the streaming service, saying, “I hear you’re looking for stuff.” Chuckling over what Netflix was likely expecting, Van Zandt adds, “I’m sure it probably wasn’t a local Norwegian show.” However, he holds the meeting in high regard, calling it “the greatest business meeting of my entire life.” Check out Van Zandt’s comments below:


Related: Sopranos Prequel Is Explaining A Key Part Of Silvio Dante’s Character

“That was it. You know. I called, I said, you know, I hear you’re looking for stuff, and you said, ‘yeah.’ And you said, ‘come on in.’ I said I got something, and you said, ‘come on in.’ I’m not sure what you were expecting, but I’m sure it probably wasn’t a local Norwegian show. I mean, I’ll never forget it. It’s the greatest business meeting of my entire life because I was not used to, you know, heads of companies making decisions like that. I had never experienced that before. Usually, it takes weeks, and people have to ask other people about, you know, but you were like, you know, I showed you the trailer, and you were like, ‘I dig it, man, let’s go.'”

Ten years into Netflix’s original programming, audiences may not regard Lilyhammer as one of the streaming service’s top shows. However, Van Zandt’s fish-out-of-water gangster series helped pave the way for Netflix, allowing them to grow into the streaming giant they are today. Given that Lilyhammer season 1 had already been filmed, Netflix had a ready-to-go series that ultimately helped to change their platform forever. All three seasons of Lilyhammer are currently available to stream on Netflix.

Steven Van Zandt in Lilyhammer

Next: The Sopranos: What Happened To Silvio Dante, Explained

Source: WeAreNetflix

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