Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer play husband and wife in French director Luc Besson’s new dark comedy “The Family”.
Based on the novel “Malavita” (published under the English title “Badfellas”), the plot centres around a mob family moving to France as part of an ill-conceived witness protection programme.
To get an idea, imagine The Sopranos transplanted to the French countryside – Sopranos scribe Michael Caleo co-wrote the script.
“It’s about a mob family who go into the witness protection programme because the father in the family rats out some of his cronies and so they go on the run and they end up in a small town in France.” says Michelle Pfeiffer.
Robert De Niro is used to playing the gangster, from his iconic role in the “The Godfather” to other characters in comedies like “Analyze This”. The actor allows his vicious streak to emerge, adding real bite to his confrontations with locals.
This role, however was quite different, he says:
“I enjoy doing them (playing these characters) and if they’re well-written and done by good directors then (…) there’s no harm in going back to them, I think, and they’re not all the same. They’re different, different characters, there is a connection of course. (But) this movie is totally different from the other movies I’ve done as far as these characters.”
The family’s old ways are hard to put behind, but things come to a head when the New York mafia discovers where they’re hiding and decides to finish them off once and for all.
“The Family” opens this autumn in cinemas worldwide.