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Van Zandt stars in Netflix's first series

THE RETURN OF SYLVIO DANTE: In 2010, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt was in Norway producing the Oslo-based all-girl rock band Cocktail Slippers for his own label when he was approached by the husband and wife writing team behind Lilyhammer, Nextflix’s first original series. “It was such an easy and simple idea but a good one,” Van Zandt said of the plot to the Wall Street Journal. He plays Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a New York mobster who enters federal witness protection after he testifies against his boss. Frank asks to move to Lillehammer, or Lilyhammer, as he calls it, the Norwegian city that hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics. Van Zandt worked for a year on the script, and spent six months flying back and forth every other weekend from New York to Norway to shoot the series. In addition to co-writing and starring in the hour-long drama, he also serves as an executive producer. Said Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, “Lilyhammer is a rare opportunity to have a character that is very familiar in a situation that is very unfamiliar. If people view this as a soft Sopranos sequel, that’s not a bad thing,” Netflix will stream the entire first season beginning Feb. 6. “It’s crazy to think I worked one and a half years on something that will be available all in one day,” Van Zandt said. (1/31a)

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