Oscar winner Marisa Tomei takes on heartbreaking role in new movie 'The King of Staten Island'

Oscar winning actress Marisa Tomei takes on a heartbreaking role opposite Pete Davidson in the new movie 'The King of Staten Island'.
GLENDALE -- Marisa Tomei is getting strong reviews for her role in "The King of Staten Island." It's a semi-autobiographical film starring comedian Pete Davidson and looks at some difficult struggles in his life.

Tomei plays his very understanding mother; it's a role that really had her thinking.

"It was very hard for me to relate to this character. I was, like, I don't have this kind of patience. I don't have this kind of understanding. I don't get this, really," said Tomei. "It was a lot to really wrap my head around."

Davidson's character is a young man who is still living with his mom, still partying, still looking for a job... and still not dealing with the death of his firefighter father. Add to that, he's battling depression. That's some of the film's autobiographical subject matter. Tomei did get to meet Davidson's mom, her real-life counterpart.

"I have so much respect for her and she's just one of the kindest people I've ever, ever encountered. She's just lovely," said Tomei. "We didn't really work on the character together. We had some conversations but not extensively. I think it was best to stick with what was kind of in the script."

Judd Apatow is the director of the film; he calls Tomei's work "genius".

"It puts everybody on their toes because you know she's going to be so great." said Apatow. "Everybody's like, I better be greater or it's going to look weird."

Rather than wait to release the film until after the pandemic, it was decided to make it available now, on demand. Then came the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd.

"We all have to take a lot of time to feel our hearts, stay in our bodies, breathe and take heartfelt actions for those who can't breathe," said Tomei.

"The King of Staten Island" is available now on demand.
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