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How The King of Staten Island Allowed Pete Davidson to Finally Process His Pain

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EXCLUSIVE!

To paraphrase the immortal words of Carrie Fisher, Pete Davidson is finally taking his broken heart and turning it into art.

Since his early days as a teenage stand-up comic through to becoming one of the youngest people to ever join the cast of Saturday Night Live—not to mention its first cast member born in the 1990s—the trauma of Davidson’s childhood had been a part of his story. But never has he tackled the pain with such scope and unflinching totality as he has in the new film The King of Staten Island.

“When you see someone like Pete, you know there’s a lot going on. You really don’t know what it is. I think that a lot of people are interested in his struggle,” Judd Apatow, who not only directed the film—available now on demand—but co-wrote it with Davidson and his best friend Dave Sirus, said in an inside look at the movie courtesy of Universal Pictures. “They want to know, ‘How are you doing? What happened to you?’ The King of Staten Island is an opportunity for Pete to tell you about himself and to tell you about his feelings and his journey.”

For the unfamiliar, Davidson was seven years old when his father Scott Davidson, a New York City firefighter, died in service during the September 11 terrorist attacks. To suffer such a devastating loss at such a young age was, as he told The New York Times in 2015, “overwhelming.” He began acting out in school, at one point ripping out his hair to the point of baldness, and struggled with suicidal thoughts. 

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