Steve Buscemi is opening up about the 2019 death of his wife of over 30 years, artist and filmmaker Jo Andres.
The iconic actor, 62, gave a rare interview to GQ, ahead of the release of his new film The King of Staten Island, and spoke about his wife’s battle with ovarian cancer. He heartbreakingly recalled how much pain she was in at the end as a result of the disease, and talked about cleaning out the Brooklyn, N.Y. brownstone they shared because it now feels too big to live in alone.
Buscemi, who married Andres in 1987, said she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. While chemotherapy led to remission for a period, the cancer returned in 2017 and it was hard to watch. She died in Jan. 2019.
“The pain was the hardest thing,” Buscemi admitted. “People who are going through that, it’s painful. It’s painful to die from cancer. There’s just no way around it.”
Buscemi admitted he hadn’t thought much about death before that — but that has changed.
“If I should happen to go not suddenly, I hope I could be as present as Jo was,” he said. “She led the way. She was surrounded by friends and family. She really faced it. I really don’t think she was afraid of dying. I think it was just a whole series of ‘Oh, I don’t get to do this anymore.’”
They met in 1983. They lived in the same NYC neighborhood, the East Village, and Buscemi would hurry outside to walk his dog when he knew she would be coming home from work. He was an NYC firefighter, doing comedy during his time off. She was equally interested. He was in a comedy duo at the time and there were handmade posters of his likeness around the neighborhood. She once remarked to a friend upon seeing one, “I’m going to snag that guy.”
When they first started talking, she didn’t immediately realize he was the guy on the posters. She put it together when she visited his apartment for the first time and saw one of the posters there.
This article was originally published on yahoo.com/entertainment/.