Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

“The Kitchen,” stars Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson. (Supplied)
Updated 22 August 2019

Stars of the 'The Kitchen' movie talk to Arab News

DUBAI: “The Kitchen,” starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, Tiffany Haddish and Domhnall Gleeson, is an ode to the ever-popular gangster movie, but also a reimagining. Three women who can’t pay the bills after their mobster husbands go to prison decide to take over the organization themselves — becoming violent criminals in the process. Gone is the Don, in his place are the Donnas.

“I love mobster movies, they’re some of my favorite movies, but I think I always watched them and thought, ‘Where am I in that story? Where am I represented?’ I never am. The opportunity to put those two things together — a real authentic, gritty mob story that has interesting, flawed, human women at the center of it felt like an incredible opportunity,” writer/director Andrea Berloff tells Arab News.




Andrea Berloff at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

In casting, Berloff went against type — McCarthy and Haddish are best-known for comedic roles, and Gleeson’s roles in “Star Wars” and the Oscar-nominated “Brooklyn” suggested anything but a gangster.

“If I’d read the script I wouldn’t have thought of me for the role, so I was thrilled that Andrea for some reason thought that I could do a good job. The good ones are a surprise to you as opposed to something you track down — or that’s the way it’s been for me so far. I never thought I’d really want to play a killer in a mob movie. When this script came along, that’s what I found a bit scary and interesting,” says Gleeson.




Domhnall Gleeson at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

Like Berloff, Moss has always loved the genre — especially the women in legendary projects such as “The Godfather” and “The Sopranos.” While the women of “The Kitchen” are different in many ways from those groundbreaking characters, they carry on their spirit.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in various mobster projects. With Diane Keaton and Edie Falco, and these incredible portrayals, I always find them the most interesting parts of those projects — to see the effect that that lifestyle has on women is really interesting,” Moss tells Arab News.




Elisabeth Moss loved the genre of the movie. (AFP)

McCarthy wasn’t as focused on the history of women in crime fiction as her co-star. Instead, the character and the script were rich enough that she was able to link it to her own life quite easily.

“I didn’t reference other movies,” she says. “For me, when a script it that good, and that complete, and that fully realized, I try to delve into the character itself. I thought about how I related as a mother of two, and what does that mean when you’re just trying to survive and try to take care of your kids. I don’t look to other movies as a guide — I’m a big movie fan, but I prepare a little more solo.”




Tiffany Haddish at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

“I’m the same way,” says Haddish.

“It just seemed easy. It’s that great thing. Especially with Andrea running the ship, we all saw the same movie, which was really great, and we all naturally get along,” says McCarthy.




 Melissa McCarthy at the premier of "The Kitchen" in Hollywood. (AFP)

This is Berloff’s debut as a director (she was nominated for an Oscar for writing the 2016 hit “Straight Outta Compton”) and she hadn’t originally planned on helming the movie herself. But she found she felt so passionate about the story that she wanted to oversee the whole project.

“There are times when I write a script and I’m happy to hand it off to someone else and let them run with it, but in this case I felt like I had so much more to say about these characters, and this world, and these themes,” she explains. “I went in to pitch as a director and started saying to them, ‘Here’s what’s not in the script that you don’t know.’”


Get the scoop on President Putin’s delicious lunch menu in Saudi Arabia

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday in his first visit since 2007. (SPA)
Updated 14 October 2019

Get the scoop on President Putin’s delicious lunch menu in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Riyadh on Monday in his first visit since 2007, and was welcomed to Al-Yamamah Palace by Saudi King Salman as well as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Russian president sat down to a sumptuous lunch banquet after being welcomed off his plane at King Khalid International Airport by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

And what did the leader of Russia enjoy while in Saudi Arabia? We got the inside scoop on what was served up at the decadent luncheon.

We got the inside scoop on what was served up at the decadent luncheon. (Arab News)

To start things off, diners enjoyed a variety of hot and cold appetizers, which were followed up with a choice of three main courses.

Guests were invited to choose between smoked salmon with asparagus and balsamic sauce, chicken breasts stuffed with a creamy concoction of saffron, turmeric and vegetables and deliciously soft wagyu beef served with purple carrots, orange fruit sauce and a delicate garnish of mountain flowers.

And that wasn’t all — to show off the best Saudi Arabia has to offer, President Putin was also treated to a selection of traditional Saudi dishes, which guests could sample at their leisure.

The Russian president sat down to a sumptuous lunch banquet after being welcomed off his plane. (Arab News) 

Sweet-toothed diners then had their moment of glory as the dessert course was served up.

Chocolate mousse with fresh mangos and mango coulis was served alongside a tarte cranberry ice cream — a fun twist on the usual pairing of chocolate and vanilla ice cream.

And for those who wanted a healthier alternative, a variety of fresh fruits were offered to guests.