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Friday, October 5, 2018
Little Italy Movie Three generations. Two families. One forbidden love.
Three generations. Two families. One forbidden love.
A young couple must navigate a blossoming romance,
amidst a war between their families’ competing pizza restaurants.
Tempers are raging hotter than wood fired
pizza ovens. Who will the winner be? Team
Sal or Team Vince? And what of the couples? Will their love become the victim
or emerge victorious in this ridiculously epic food feud?
friends SAL and VINCE pool their talents and secret family recipes to give Little
Italy its most storied pizza. One day a terrible fight breaks out between the
two. No one knows why. But Little Italy is never the same again and neither is
its pizza. A wall now runs between the once fabled pizzeria. PIZZA NAPOLI is now divided into VINCE’S PIZZA – THE BEST and SAL’S PIZZA – IT’S BETTER.
Present day. Nothing
has changed. Sal and Vince spend more time trying to sabotage one another’s
shops than focus on their own business. But not everyone wants war. Love blossoms in little Italy’s
cobblestoned piazzas between Sal’s daughter NIKKI and Vince’s
son LEO. Nikki is now a Cordon Bleu chef freshly returned
from London. She and Leo, a pizza chef who dreams of owning his own organic
pizza place, rekindle their childhood crush right under their oblivious
fathers’ eyes. Sal and Vince’s wives DORA
and AMALIA are secretly best
friends, but have to keep up the charade for their squabbling husbands’ sake.
To complicate matters further, Sal’s mother FRANCA and Vince’s father
CARLO are also carrying on a clandestine romance!
Franca and Carlo announce their wedding plans to their shocked sons, Nikki and
Leo’s secret romance slips out in the open as well. A shocked Sal and Vince decide Little Italy is too small for
the two of them. A wager is laid. “Team
Sal” will face “Team Vince” in a pizza cookout and the loser will leave Little
Italy for good. Sal and Vince succeed in pitting their children against
each other, so Nikki and Leo are now also bitter rivals.
on Little Italyin Toronto, Ontario (Canada) on May 18th, 2017. You couldn’t
shoot a movie entitled Little Italy
unless you shot at least part of it in Toronto’s original and historic district
of the same name. So, over the next 27 days, production would shoot all over
downtown Toronto with a special emphasis on shooting in Toronto’s Little Italy. Production made use of
numerous homes, streets and locations in the neighborhood to the delight of
children and families. On one occasion, when production was shooting on Clinton
Street one Saturday evening, several children (and adults) were overheard
remarking who cool it was to have “Anakin Skywalker” aka, Hayden Christensen on
the corner of their street! Indeed, production took all of the rich character
and history of Toronto’s Little Italy
and proudly displayed it in Little Italy.
A huge portion of Little Italy takes place in a pizzeria
and thankfully the producers decided to re-create a pizzeria in Little Italy instead of on a soundstage
in a distant warehouse. Pizza Napoli
and then Vince’s Pizzeria and Sal’s Pizzeria sets where re-created in
a vacant storefront right on College Street. Production did such an amazing job
recreating an old school pizzeria that on a few occasions, confused pedestrians
thought it was an actual pizzeria. And it was great to see Danny Aiello once
again behind the counter at a pizzeria as it harkens back to his Oscar
nominated performance as “Sal” in Spike Lee’s ground-breaking Do the Right Thing.
The production was
able to access many iconic locations. The local Starbucks for one, provided a
critical and comical setting for the romance of grandparents, Carlo (Danny
Aiello) and Franca (Andrea Martin). The Little
Italy team would like to extend a very special thanks to Starbucks for
generously offering us one of their busiest locations along with the use of
their globally popular brand name. Another location that was written into the
script as one of the old couple’s covert meeting points was the Metropolitan United Church in the
downtown core. The largest church in downtown Toronto, Metropolitan United has a long history of worship dating back to
Outside of Little Italy, the producers also made
use of several amazing locations including the historic Distillery District which was used re-create the famous Chin Radio Little Italy street festival.
The Distillery District, which is
located 10 minutes east of downtown core, proved to be the perfect location
with its cobblestoned streets giving the scenes an authentic feel.
location to be utilized in Little Italy
was Christie Pits, which spans a full
city block, for the hilarious soccer scenes between (Nikki) Emma Roberts and
(Leo) Hayden Christensen. The location serves
double duty for their childhood soccer games and then their present rivalry
which takes place during a heavy rain shower. Equally amazing is that scenes
were being shot in a small portion of the park while many Torontonians were out
enjoying the splendor of their urban oasis.
Shooting in Toronto
had many benefits including landing Hayden Christensen for the coveted role of
“Leo.”While Hayden was born in
Vancouver, British Columbia, he spent his formative years just north of Toronto
and still has plenty of family there. Hayden relished the opportunity to work
so close to home again (the last time was Jumper
in 2008). In fact, while shooting scenes at the Distillery District, Hayden’s family all came by to visit.
Petrie is best known for directing many hit comedies including Grumpy Old Men, Miss Congeniality, the
fan favourite, Mystic Pizza and now,
two generations of Roberts women.In
was in Mystic Pizza that Petrie
directed a young Julia Roberts who is Emma Roberts’ aunt. As Emma and her
on-screen family in Little Italy
also work in a pizzeria, Petrie decided to pay homage to Mystic Pizzaand Julia Roberts by
having Emma wear a replicate t-shirt (“A Slice of Heaven”) in Little Italy that Julia wore in Mystic
Pizza. Emma relished the opportunity to pay homage to her Aunt Julia and
the t-shirt was a coveted shot by the many paparazzi on the edge of set.
As one would image,
the most important props in movie set in a pizzeria are the pies themselves.
For the many scenes that involved pizza, the props department was close by
making the pizza. For a scene that involved several takes, it was not uncommon
to have 10 pies made just to looks like they just came out of the oven. And
once the pies played their scene,
they were passed along to cast and crew to eat. Needless to say, few were left
hungry on these days.
like an extended Italian family, there was quite family feeling on-set.
Starting with lead creative producer Vinay Virmani, his dad producer and
entrepreneur Ajay Virmani, all who visited set remarked how pleasant and
enjoyable it was. This family feeling extended to cast. Visiting cast members
were taken under the wings of local actors and shown the many offerings that
Toronto had to offer. And the producers had many of their friends casually show
up. One-day, Toronto Raptor point guard Kyle Lowry arrived at the pizzeria set
on College Street and nearly caused a riot with a crush of fans plus cast and
crew wanting to meet him. On another occasion, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus
Stroman came by to lend his support to Vinay. Once again, he was mobbed by
fans. Not only did athletes enjoy visiting set but Little Italy had politicians visiting, like the Ontario's Minister of Culture, Tourism and
Eleanor McMahon. A huge film buff and close friend of Virmani’s, Minister
McMahon came by and spent the better part of an afternoon and evening meeting
cast, crew and viewing action.
Fresh off the oven,
ITALY is generously topped with ingredients that everyone enjoys – love
of food, love of family, and love of one another.
LITTLE ITALY features multiple love stories involving couples
of different generations. But above all, it’s a story about coming home to what
you love and who you love. An
impressive ensemble cast of vivid, colourful characters helps bring this story
to life with a series of comedic punches and situations that line up
one after the other, with little rest for the viewer.
This crowd-pleasing story is an inspired mix of memorable movies
like Chef, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Love
Actually and Big Night. It tells
us the tale of two loud Italian families who wear their hearts on their sleeves
and cook with fierce pride. To them, the love of food and family isn’t just an
important thing – it’s everything!
ITALY would not be complete without mention of food – more
specifically, pizza. It is said a recipe has no soul, and it is for us to bring
soul to the recipe. So viewers can get ready for a visual feast, Italian-style
that will leave them hungry and craving for more. If there’s one thing that can
make absolutely everybody happy, it’s pizza. And you’d agree, a movie about the
subject should come extremely close.
Hayden Christensen – “Leo”
Hayden Christensen is
a Canadian actor and producer. He began his career on Canadian
television at the age of 13, then diversified into American
television in the late 1990s. He was praised for his acting as Sam
in Life as a House,
earning Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild
Award nominations. Christensen gained international fame for his portrayal
of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the
Sith. His honours for these films include a nomination for
the Saturn Award for Best Actor and the Cannes Film Festival
Revelation Award. Since his Star Wars days, Hayden has headlined several films
including the critically acclaimed Shattered Glass, Awake, Jumper, Takers
Heist. When not working,
Hayden explores other hobbies like dirt bike riding, jazz, blues and the piano.
Emma Roberts – “Nikki”
Emma Roberts is an American
actress and singerand one of Hollywood’s fastest rising
young actresses. An undeniable talent who’s amassed an impressive career over
the course of the last decade, Emma’s first movie role came in the Johnny
Depp-Penelope Cruz starrer Blow. Soon after, she was cast in
the lead role in Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous. Her performance led to
many award nominations and the release of her very own album – Unfabulous
and More. She’s since appeared ina series of successful movies –Nancy
Drew, Wild Child, Valentine's Day, Scream 4, We're the Millersand Nerve, to name a few.
She’s had continued success in TV, playing the lead role in the Fox series Scream
Queens as well as playing main roles in two seasons ofAmerican
Alyssa Milano – “Dora”
Milano has been acting since the tender age of 7 and is ranked #28 on VH1’s
list of “100 Greatest Child Actors of All Time.” She’s best known for the TV
series and movie Charmed and has featured in key roles in the Owen Wilson starrer
Pass and the Arnold Schwarzenegger blockbuster, Commando. Apart from LITTLE
ITALY, she is currently filming the TV series Insatiable. Alyssa is
also an accomplished recording artist whose 5 albums have sold over a million
Linda Kash – “Amalia”
Kash began her professional life at the Second City in Toronto, where she
performed, directed and conducted workshops for four years. She has appeared in
and directed a number of plays, films and television shows throughout Canada,
the US, Europe, New Zealand and Russia. She also teaches improv and leads
workshops across the country. In 2017, Linda had a recurring
role in Fargo season 3, performed in the feature films Little Italy and The
Bet, and guest starred on The Amazing Gayl Pyle. She is currently editing her
short film “9 Letters”. Linda is best known as The Philadelphia Cream
Cheese Angel – a successful ad campaign which ran for a record 16 years.
Adam Ferrara – “Sal”
Ferrara is an acclaimed stand-up comedian and actor who has twice been
nominated for the American Comedy Award for Best Male Stand up. Adam
has starred opposite Edie Falco on the hot Showtime series Nurse Jackie and has also
appeared alongside Kevin James in the hit movie Paul Blart Mall Cop and
with Ryan Reynolds in Definitely Maybe. He has also hosted
the iconic BBC TV show, Top Gear.
Gary Basaraba – “Vince”
actor Gary Basaraba has a career that spans several genres. From cutting edge
movies like The Last Temptation of Christ and Fried Green Tomatoes, to
the much loved Smurfs. He’s also appeared Emmy Award-winning TV series such as
andMad Men. Gary’s
incredible range as an actor has given him the opportunity to work with a host
of highly acclaimed directors like Martin Scorsese, Louis Malle, Tony Scott and
Adrian Lyne. Gary has recently completed filming Suburbicon, written by
the Coen brothers and directed by George Clooney.
Phung – “Luigi”
Phung is an actor, improviser, and emcee. He fell in love with improvisational
comedy at a young age and joined the Loose Moose Theatre Company while in high
school. He's co-creator of numerous successful improv shows including Kill
Hard, Missed Connections, and Past your Bedtime. He was voted Best Actor (2013,
2014, 2016, 2017) and Best Comedian (2014, 2016) by Best of Calgary and FFWD
Weekly. Andrew is currently one of the stars of the hit CBC televisions series
Kim's Convenience and was the winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best
Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of the "Kimchee."
Jane Seymour –
and producer Jane Seymour is best known for her roles in Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Wedding
Crashers and as a “Bond girl” in Live and let die. An active
philanthropist, Jane is the official celebrity spokesperson for UNICEF and
International Ambassador for Childhelp USA. Jane has also been honored with an
OBE (Officer of the Order of British Empire) for her services to drama.
Daniel Aiello –
Daniel (Danny) Aiello Jr. is an American actor who has appeared in numerous
motion pictures, including The
Godfather: Part II, Once Upon a Time in America, The Purple
Rose of Cairo, Moonstruckand
Hudson Hawk. His
memorable role as Salvatore "Sal" Frangione, in the Spike Lee film Do
the Right Thing (1989) as earned him a nomination for the Academy Awardfor Best Supporting Actor.
He also played a pivotal role in the miniseries, Mario Puzo's The Last Don. An avid musician,
Danny also played the title character for the video of Madonna's song, Papa
Don't Preach, and continues to sing on tour to date with an 8-piece
Andrea Martin – “Franca”
is an American actress, singer, author andcomedian who is best known for her work in the iconic television
series, SCTV. Andrea has appeared in films such asWag
the Dog, My Big Fat Greek WeddingandMy Big Fat Greek Wedding 2and has lent her
voice to the animated filmsAnastasia,The
Rugrats Movie, andJimmy
Neutron: Boy Genius. Martin
has been equally prolific in the world of theater, and has received five
nominations for theTony Award
for Best Featured Actress in a Musical – more than any other actress in the
award's history. She currently stars in theHuluoriginal seriesDifficult
People, and in theNBCsitcomGreat