Judd Apatow and Pete Davidson teamed up for a semi-autobiographical movie about the comedian's life

By Ale Russian and Scott Huver
January 27, 2020 12:43 PM

Judd Apatow‘s next movie stars Pete Davidson, and the director has nothing but the best to say about the Saturday Night Live star.

Apatow, 52, and Davidson, 26, cowrote The King of Staten Island, which they shot on location last year. Ahead of the film’s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March, the Trainwreck director teased the comedy to reporters at the Directors Guild Awards on Saturday in Los Angeles.

“It’s a fictional story inspired by a lot of the emotional events from his life,” Apatow said of Davidson’s personal contribution to the story. “We shot it on Staten Island last summer and Steve Buscemi is in it, Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, my daughter Maude is in it and I’m really proud of it. I feel like it’s very funny and moving.”

“He really is a sweetheart guy,” Apatow said. “He’s so creative and smart. He’s been through things that no one on earth should ever have to go through. I think it’s been very challenging recovering from them, but he has such a big heart, and I think he’s taken this opportunity through his art to express what he’s going through. And I’m really proud of the work he did in the movie. His acting is really remarkable.”

Peter Davidson and Judd Apatow
Vivien Killilea/Getty; VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty

The movie serves as Apatow’s first directing credit since 2015’s Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer and will follow in the same tone, with Davidson’s real-life experiences loosely featured. The comedian and actor’s father, who was a firefighter, died when Davidson was 7-years-old during the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attack.

Apatow’s sweet quotes come as Davidson is stepping back from the spotlight to work on his mental health. Davidson has borderline personality disorder and previously sought treatment in 2016. He seemingly hinted that he’d be seeking treatment again during a “Weekend Update” segment on SNL in December.

“I’m going on a little ‘vacation.’ You know, the kind of vacation where insurance pays for some of it, and they take your phone and shoelaces,” he said. “And you have roommates but it stills costs like, $100,000.”

Davidson also stars in a new campaign for Alexander Wang, the same designer whose fashion show he and Kara Gerber walked in last May before being linked in October. The two seem to have cooled off as they haven’t been seen together in weeks.