Steven Van Zandt admits he was anxious directing 'Boss' Bruce Springsteen in 'Lilyhammer'

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Steven Van Zandt admits there was 'anxiety involved' when he directed longtime friend and E Street Band mate Bruce Springsteen when The Boss made his acting debut in Netflix's dramedy 'Lilyhammer.' (Dec. 17)

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FILE-- In this Nov. 19, 2013 file photo, actor and musician Steven Van Zandt attends a screening of the Netflix television series "Lilyhammer," in New York. Van Zandt says he was honored that musician Bruce Springsteen agreed to appear in the episode, which began airing on Nov. 21, 2014, and marked Van Zandt’s directorial debut, but there was “a little bit of anxiety involved.” (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)


In this image released by Netflix, Bruce Springsteen, left, takes direction from Steven van Zandt during the filming of season 3 of "Lilyhammer." Springsteen portrays Giuseppe "Joey the Undertaker" Tagliano in the series about a fictional New York gangster who tries to start a new life in the Norwegian city of Lillehammer. (AP Photo/Netflix, PÃ¥l Bugge Haagenrud)


NEW YORK — It's always a bit uncomfortable having to tell your boss what to do.

So imagine how Steven Van Zandt felt when he directed his longtime friend and E Street Band mate Bruce Springsteen when The Boss made his acting debut — appearing in the third season finale of the Netflix dramedy "Lilyhammer." (Springsteen also briefly appeared in the 2000 film "High Fidelity," but as himself rather than in an acting role).

He says he was honored that Springsteen agreed to appear in the episode, which began airing on Nov. 21 and marked Van Zandt's directorial debut, but there was "a little bit of anxiety involved."

"I know we're friends for 50 years but still it meant a lot to me that he chose me and trusted me enough to direct him when literally everybody on earth's been wanting to do it ," said Van Zandt, who stars, writes, produces and composes music for the show.

"Lilyhammer" is a fish out of water story about fictional New York gangster Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano (Van Zandt), who is trying to start a new life in the Norwegian city of Lillehammer.

Springsteen played Frank's older brother Giuseppe — a small role that was key to the plot, Van Zandt said.

"He's really acting," says Van Zandt. "It's not some cameo. He's not playing himself. It's a real thing."

Van Zandt says it all went well and Springsteen "did great" as Giuseppe.

"Was if fun? Yeah, but it's more fun when it's over," he says with a laugh. "It's fun now."

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Online: http://www.netflix.com/WiMovie/70221438

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Follow Lauri Neff on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/lneffist

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