(NBC News) Pete Davidson drew big laughs when he made his “Saturday Night Live” debut six years ago at age 20.
Then he started getting noticed for different reasons.
There was an ill-fated relationship with pop star Ariana Grande.
In 2018, Davidson posted suicidal thoughts on social media, went to rehab, and moved back home with his mother…always carrying with him a tragic back-story.
His father was a New York firefighter killed on September 11th.
“9-11 is mentioned on a weekly basis, so i think it made it impossible for me to grieve,” he says.
Now Davidson is channeling that experience into a feature film directed by Judd Apatow.
“The movie is my love letter to my mom, and trying to end that part of my life. I feel like maybe we got to a place where we could finally let go a little bit,” Davidson says.
“The King of Staten Island” plugs autobiographical themes into a fictional account of the Pete Davidson story.
Originally scheduled for theaters, Apatow decided on a digital release rather than delay the film.
“Everybody’s cooped up and stressed out, and our movie is about first responders and firemen and nurses and heroes,” Apatow says.
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