How ‘The King of Staten Island’ Handles Sibling Rivalry

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A sibling leaving for college becomes a moment of anguish in “The King of Staten Island.”

The director Judd Apatow narrates this sequence featuring Pete Davidson as Scott and Maude Apatow as his sister, Claire. (The actress is the director’s daughter.) On the evening before she leaves, Claire gives Scott a parting gift that’s also born of guilt, because she feels a bit as if she’s abandoning him.

Apatow discusses navigating the seriousness of the scene while making time for comic moments. He also said the scene, which he wrote with Davidson and Dave Sirus, came from discussions about Davidson’s family relationships.

In the scene, Scott says it was worse for him because his sister was too young to have gotten to know their father when he died. They debate who had it worse.

“In a way, the scene is almost an apology to his real-life sister for not acknowledging how bad her pain was at times,” Apatow says.

Read the “King of Staten Island” review.

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