Pete Davidson Wanted ‘King of Staten Island’ to Be ‘Love Letter to His Mom,’ Judd Appatow Says
Judd Apatow's "The King of Staten Island" is based on Pete Davidson's life if he hadn't been a comedian. Above all, the comedy is said to be a "love letter" to Davidson's mother and a homage to his late firefighter father, who died in response to the September 11 attacks.
While the comedy does not use many real events from Davidson's life, in one case it draws from his life. In the film, Davidson plays a young man whose father, also a fireman, died while on active duty, and he has to bring his life together when his mother begins to meet a new man - also a fireman.
"We had a lot of talks discussing what he would feel comfortable with and what his family would feel comfortable with because we didn't want them to get upset," Apatow told TheWrap. "He wanted the film to be a love letter to his mother because he was there to take care of him and his sister, and in this way he paid tribute to his father."
Read also: "The King of Staten Island" Film review: Judd Apatow helps Pete Davidson to tell an uncomfortably personal story
Apatow knew that facing such a tragedy in a movie could be a challenge for Davidson, but he said the crew approached it by making Davidson comfortable and rehearsing the emotional scenes a lot.
"If we knew the scene could be difficult, we would have talked about it a month in advance and we would say how are we going to do it? Are you going to be fine that day? Will this be the worst day ever and what could it fix for you and how can you do your best work? Apatow explained. “And much of it was just rehearsing and talking through the scenes and working through them. And in those moments I found him very emotionally available as an actor. And I think those are the best scenes in the film. "
Maude Apatow, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr and Bel Powley can also be seen in "The King of Staten Island". Apatow wrote the film alongside Davidson and Dave Sirus. Apatow says it was refreshing to see Davidson in such a raw role.
"It was fun because we can mess up Pete's character a little bit more," he said. "You know, Pete is a very successful person - as a young man he has been in" Saturday Night Live "for many years. He made a few films. He had several specials. He has been doing standup since he was 16. He is So not someone who doesn't drive. Our film was an idea of him when he couldn't find a comedy, so it was kind of fun because we could just mess him up and just be horrible and funny and belligerent and a brat and let him have his life in a way that forces him to make adjustments ... We also knew that it was deeply personal and it was grief and how a family is affected by loss and how sometimes, you know, they don't quite know about it get away and they have problems coming out of the rut. "
Also Read: Pete Davidson Spars - Then Bonds - With Bill Burr in Judd Apatow's Trailer "King of Staten Island" (Video)
Apatow hadn't made a film since “Trainwreck” in 2015 and instead focused on documentaries and TV shows. He explained that he simply hadn't found a project that he felt strongly connected to - and he will admit that he was concerned. But when he worked with Davidson on "The King of Staten Island" he knew that this would be the one that would put him back in the director's chair.
"There were a thing or two that may have happened that didn't come together, and I don't feel the need to direct unless I am very passionate about it," he said. "I never take jobs just for work ... I was hoping something would come, but I can't say that I wasn't nervous about never finding something I wanted to do again. It was about a or two years when I thought, "This is going to be strange, I'm not happy about any ideas." I got a little scared. I thought I just told too many stories and I didn't have much more to say, and maybe are Documentaries were a better way for me to express some of my ideas, but when I got involved with Pete, I realized that I could tell a story about victims, and that was it. It was a topic that I spent a few years discussing had thought. "
"The King of Staten Island" will be streamed on Friday. Watch the interview above.
Read The Original Story Pete Davidson wanted King of Staten Island to be a “love letter to his mother,” says Judd Appatow at TheWrap
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