Mafia Mamma is working within a realm of genre filmmaking that is often dominated by a male perspective. Mafia movies have an extensive and well-defined history in film with some of the most prominent movies ever made covering territory related to the Italian mafia. Catherine Hardwicke is well-aware of this and it is part of the reason why she was immediately drawn into the script in addition to the opportunity to collaborate with Toni Collette once again.
The film follows an American Mom (Collette) who inherits her grandfather’s mafia empire in Italy. She is guided by the organization’s consigliere (Monica Bellucci) and hilariously defies everyone’s expectations as the new head of the family business.
To think we get to do a Mafia movie like a Godfather with some of those fun Italian vibes and everything, but we have women leading the pack. I mean, our consigliere is Monica Bellecci, and her elegant Dolce Gabbana fabulousness, but she’s the brains behind the organization and then she helps Toni understand how to run the Mafia. So, it’s just kind of fun and fabulous in every way.
Watch my full conversation with Catherine below regarding her approach to the script, her collaboration with her lead actresses, and the challenges she faced filming on location in many places throughout Italy in Mafia Mamma.