Here’s something you don’t see every day: a nice movie that takes place entirely on Staten Island.
But for “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson’s new comedy, “The King of Staten Island,” director Judd Apatow tells The Post that total immersion was the only way to capture the 26-year-old comic’s life.
Here the Syosset, LI-born director, 52, talks about his summer spent in the borough, hanging out with pal Davidson and his Staten Island neighbors.
What do you think is the essence of Staten Island?
You know, it’s a place that a lot of people haven’t been to, unless you live there. It doesn’t really have an attraction to draw you. There isn’t a Six Flags Staten Island. There’s one character played by Bel Powley, Pete’s love interest, who always says, “Why can’t it be like Brooklyn? We are cool. We need to show the world.”
OK, so how much of this is from Pete’s life story?
The movie is about what Pete’s life might have become if he didn’t find comedy. We talked a lot about a version of Pete that didn’t have an interest, who is lost, doing some low-level drug dealing and is on the verge of getting into more serious crime. So the movie is completely fictional, but it allows us to very truthfully explore a lot of the emotions and issues Pete’s had to deal with.
Did you pick locations that were important to Pete?
Pete was also a producer on the movie, so he went on all the location scouts and helped us choose locations. The person who was leading it was definitely Pete, who said, “This is the restaurant you have to shoot at. This is where we would be playing basketball. This is the street where this would happen.”
Did the locals mind you being there for months?
Everybody was really nice to us. I especially enjoyed the scenes that we shot in the houses in the communities. We shot with Pamela Adlon in one neighborhood where Marisa [Tomei’s] house was, and people were so happy to have us there. They’d hang out on the street with us in between takes. That’s the part that we’ll remember the most.
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