Around The Table with ‘The King of Staten Island’
The cast and director of The King of Staten Island discuss the making of the film.
Sorry, Timothée Chalamet, but you’ll have to settle for being Pete Davidson’s second favorite scene partner.
“The only thing I did besides this interview was make a movie,” Davidson’s Poppy, a.k.a. grandfather Stephen Davidson, humbly tells EW. Glowingly adds Pete: “He’s been crushing it.”
After first briefly appearing together earlier this year in Pete’s deeply personal film The King of Staten Island, the very close duo are keeping their onscreen relationship going in hopes of helping families stay connected during the most unusual holiday season ever.
“It’s going to be an adjustment this year, but it’s a good and necessary one for now,” says Pete, who will be trading in the traditional big Davidson gathering for a more intimate one. But, thankfully, Poppy and Mrs. Poppy will still be joining via the Echo Show, an Amazon device which the Davidsons are using both in real-life and a new video.
While getting to spend some socially-distanced time with his grandfather during filming was appreciated, the most important part of this partnership for Pete is Amazon bringing holiday cheer by donating $1 million worth of devices to organizations supporting frontline workers and first responders. One of them is Answer the Call, a foundation that supported the Davidsons after his firefighter father Scott died on 9/11. “They helped my family a lot during the 9/11 times and still help my family and keep in touch and make sure that we’re okay,” shares Pete. “They’ve done so much for us.”
Other than the Echo Show, ironically, it’s been shows and movies they’re watching that has kept the Davidson men in constant contact. Poppy has been running through the nearly 6,000 movies he owns, in addition to new content on Netflix, whether it’s loving The Queen’s Gambit like the rest of us or being one of the few Hillbilly Elegy defenders.
For Pete, he’s tried to keep their connection strong by watching film buff Poppy’s favorite movie, 1947’s Body and Soul. But most of his time has been spent on a new hobby. “I’ve been watching a lot of Pawn Stars and American Pickers,” he reveals. “I got really into antiquing during the pandemic. I don’t know why that’s where all of my energy went. So I’m really into those shows and going antique picking. I never thought that I would be 27 and online being like, ‘I wonder if I can find a gas station sign from 1948.'”
No word on if he found that artifact, but he did recently score something even more special from the 1940s. In a It’s a Wonderful Life charity script reading put on by Ed Asner, Pete took on Jimmy Stewart’s iconic role of George Bailey, and it was kismet considering the film is part of the annual Davidson holiday tradition.
“When I got that email I freaked out,” he recalls. “We were all just like, ‘Holy crap.’ We watch it not just during Christmas, we watch it a couple times a year, so I was just beyond thrilled and honored that they even thought of me.”
While Poppy didn’t make it into the It’s a Wonderful Life reading, he’s still reeling from his recent run as Pete’s costar. “I almost collapsed when he told me they were going to put me in the movie,” he recalls. “I wasn’t expecting it, but I loved everything about it.”
Does that mean his grandson has some new competition?
Without hesitation, he answers, “I’ll the leave fame to Peter.”