Pete Davidson co-wrote and stars in The King of Staten Island, which loosely borrows from his own life as a resident of the New York City borough

By Ale Russian
June 01, 2020 12:00 PM
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Pete Davidson's The King of Staten Island character has a big dream.

In the Judd Apatow-directed movie, the Saturday Night Live actor plays Scott, a 20-something aspiring tattoo artist living at home in his New York City borough hometown, still coming to terms with the loss of his firefighter father, who died 17 years prior. In real life, Davidson's dad — who's name is Scott — was a N.Y.C. first responder who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The comedian was 7 years old at the time.

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip above, Scott reflects on how much the death of his dad still affects him as his sister Claire, played by Maude Apatow, asks him to be nice to their mom (played by Marisa Tomei).

"I always giver her a break. When am I gonna get my break?" Scott says.

"What are you talking about? All anyone ever does is worry about you. I was ignored my entire childhood ‘cause of you," Claire says. "You don’t get to act crazy your whole life ‘cause dad died. At least you got to know him."

"Well you’re lucky you didn’t get to know him, ‘cause that’s why you’re almost normal. If you got to know him you would’ve known that he was like, the f—— coolest guy ever and that would’ve ruined the rest of your life," Davidson as Scott replies.

Universal Pictures

When pressed on what he's actually planning on doing with his life, it seems like Scott has a unique idea.

"I’m gonna open that tattoo restaurant," Scott says, with Claire telling him to be serious. "I am being real. It’s never been done before! I looked it up, I googled it. It’s never been done, not even as a joke."

"Because no one wants to go to a restaurant and watch people get tattooed while they eat. It’s gross!" Claire says.

"It’s the best idea ever. Ruby Tattuesday, where everyone’s welcome. Chicken and tattoos," Scott replies.

Universal Pictures

In a behind-the-scenes look at the movie previously shared by PEOPLE, Davidson's family and the filmmaking team discuss the emotional journey that led to the finished film, which he co-wrote with director Judd Apatow.

"When you see someone like Pete, you know there's a lot going on but you really don't know what it is," says director Apatow (Trainwreck) in the clip. "I think people are interested in his struggle; they want to know, 'How are you doing? What happened to you?'"

He adds: "King of Staten Island is an opportunity for Pete to tell you about himself, and to tell you about his feelings and his journey."

"It was really so hard for him to recover, and I would even say that it's just been recently that he's finding his way and being okay," his mother Amy says of Davidson's devastation.

"The movie is like my love letter to my mom, and trying to end that part of my life," says Davidson. "I feel like we finally got to a place where we could let go a little bit."

The King of Staten Island will be available to rent online on June 12.