Staten Island is on the big screen with the borough’s very own Pete Davidson as its king.
You may recognize Davidson from "Saturday Night Live." Now, the comedian is starring in a film he wrote called “The King of Staten Island."
NY1's George Whipple recently spoke with Davidson, actress Marisa Tomei and the film’s director, Judd Apatow.
George Whipple: What do you love about your home borough and what do you hate about it?
Pete Davidson: I love Staten Island. I don’t really hate anything about it - I just love to make fun of it. I think, you know, comedy is an even field for any type of, you know, razzing.
George Whipple: I mean we need a movie like this right now. Why did you want to take this project on?
Judd Apatow: Well for me I felt like Pete had an amazing story to tell and he was very courageous in his willingness as a writer to dig deep, to talk about all these issues.
Staten Island is a major character in the film, but the heart of it comes directly from Davidson’s real life story. His father, Scott Davidson, died on September 11, 2001. He was a first responder - a firefighter with ladder company 118 in Brooklyn Heights. Davidson was seven years old.
George Whipple: What was it like bringing those heartbreaks to the screen?
Pete Davidson: It was something I wanted to bring up and tell as part of my story because, you know, these are things that i had issues with and struggled with and I really wanted to close that chapter in my life.
In the film, Davidson plays Scott who lost his firefighter father - not on 9/11 - but while putting out a fire when Scott was a child. Now in his mid-20’s, Scott spends his time smoking pot, tattooing his friends - his dream job - while trying the patience of those that love him most.
Oscar winner Marisa Tomei plays Scott’s loving mother.
George Whipple: How did you prepare for this role?
Marisa Tomei: There’s a level of internal stuff. Of course I’m watching Pete and trying to get to know him, but I felt like I already knew him. I think America feels that way about him. He’s just lovable.
The cast also includes members of Pete’s family, firefighters who worked with his dad, and Brooklyn native - and New Fork fire department alum - actor Steve Buscemi.