Catherine Hardwicke Talks “Zany” And “Original” Stylings of ‘Mafia Mamma’


Catherine Hardwicke has carved out a memorable body of work as a director. Twilight, Thirteen, Miss Bala, and Miss You Already are examples of the filmmaker’s diverse movie work. I asked Hardwicke how she chooses her films in the following interview. Transcription and the Hardwicke video interview is featured in the post.

Toni Collette in “Mafia Mamma” (Bleecker Street)

Mafia Mamma centers on Kristin (Toni Collette), an American woman who inherits her grandfather’s mafia empire in Italy. Monica Bellucci is Bianca, the consigliere who helps Kristin find her footing. A deft and engaging mixture of comedy, romance, and action, Mafia Mamma co-stars Sophia Nomvete as Kristin’s best friend and Giulio Corso as a potential love interest.

Catherine Hardwicke talked to Deepest Dream about the challenge and gratification behind directing Mafia Mamma.

Question: How are you doing Catherine?

Catherine Hardwicke: Hey, nice to see you.

Toni Collette and Giulio Corso in MAFIA MAMMA. Courtesy of Bleecker Street.

Question: Great to see you. Mafia Mamma is a genre buster and you love exploring many different types of genres in your storytelling. Does that come from your production designing experience?

Catherine Hardwicke: If it sounds interesting and challenging, I want to try it. I found this to be a challenge. It’s got action. It’s got heart. It’s got the feminist sisterhood with helping each other. It’s got gore and violence. I gotta try this. And it’s in Italy (laughs)!

Listen to my audio review of Mafia Mamma on CinemAddicts or read the online version on Find Your Film:

Question: Was this movie a big challenge to make?

Catherine Hardwicke: It was challenging because we did have big action sequences. We’re all spoiled by amazing action sequences (like the) John Wick and Mission: Impossible (films). We didn’t have that kind of budget, but I had to get to the heart of these characters and have fun. And play with our action sequences and do something different.

So you see one of the action sequences fueled by the female rage as somebody’s attacking her. She’s also getting verbally ignored by her bosses back in the states. That was something that we had never seen. That rage building up (laughs)!

Monica Bellucci and Toni Collette in Mafia Mamma. Courtesy of Bleecker Street

Question: Are there any special wine bottle items from Mafia Mamma that is out there for movie fans?

Catherine Hardwicke: On this wine bottle you see a severed finger and then we have another commemoratibve bottle that has a severed hand. There are special bottles of wine out there.

If you go dress like a mafioso don or a mafioso mamma, we’re going to send you a prize – the winners. So, take your selfies when you go to the theater!

New York, NY – 4/11/23 -Bleecker Street Hosts A New York Special Screening Of “Mafia Mamma” -PICTURED: Giulio Corso ,Alfonso Perugini ,Monica Bellucci ,Toni Collette , Sophia Nomvete , Catherine Hardwick , Francesco Mastroianni -PHOTO by: Dave Allocca / StarPix -Location: AMC Lincoln Square

Question: I loved how Mafia Mamma is not a traditional romantic comedy.

Catherine Hardwicke: Yes. Toni’s character, she just got cheated on by her husband. So her dream of I’m going to go under the Tuscan sun or I’m going to eat, pray, love – she’s dreaming of that romcom. She wants Julia Roberts, but when she gets there, she’s in the mafia all of a sudden.

Sexy guys are trying to kill her! That’s a really funny twist on a normal romcom.

Question: Can you pick one film of yours that you feel is underrated?

Catherine Hardwicke: I love that Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown are kind of having a resurgence. People are finding it on TikTok and loving it. So that’s pretty cool. Miss You Already, the other movie I did with Toni Collette (and co-starring) Drew Barrymore, it’s so fun. It’s funny – by the end of course it’s a bit sad. Sometimes you just need to cry. If you want to see a funny movie but have a good cry, that’s a good one to watch. (It’s set) in London and London is gorgeous too.

Question: Where does your sense of adventure come from?

Every day I want to do something crazy and fun and different. That’s why I like this script. It’s pretty zany. It’s out there. This is the kind of thing I want to see. I like original ideas. Things I’ve never seen before. That’s what I felt with this script.

Question: Catherine, thank you so much for your time. Really enjoyed the movie.

Catherine Hardwicke: Yeah. Thank you that’s so cool.

Below is the video version of the Catherine Hardwicke interview:

Mafia Mamma is now playing in theaters.

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