The King of Staten Island Interview: Lou Wilson Explains Ritchie’s Relationship To Jay-Z, Intense Action Sequences, And Getting Roasted On Set

Lou Wilson co-star of Judd Apatow's upcoming Pete Davidson vehicle, The King of Staten Island, sits down to have some fun and break down the movie with The Illuminerdi.
Lou Wilson The King of Staten Island

Iconic director Judd Apatow (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) is back at it again with his newest dramatic comedy, The King of Staten Island. The new movie stars Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson as Scott Carlin, in a fictionalized version of the comedian’s life.

Scott suffers from self-acknowledged mental challenges due to the death of his firefighter father at a young age. The 24 year old has been stuck in a state of arrested development since that time and continues to live in his mother’s home and hang out with his band of loser friends. However, things suddenly change for Scott when his mother (Marisa Tomei) falls in love with another firefighter (Bill Burr).

One of the highlights of the film, is his friendship with his band of slacker friends, Oscar (Ricky Velez), Ritchie, and Igor (Moises Arias). Lou Wilson (The Coop) plays Ritchie, one of Scott’s closer friends, who’s often found in the basement with their crew smoking weed and playing video games.

Lou Wilson took the time to sit down and have a chat with The Illuminerdi prior to the premiere of The King of Staten Island. The charismatic actor sheds light on the inter-workings of the crew, Ritchie’s fate, hilarious footage left on the cutting room floor, and the thrill of acting in an action sequence. Enjoy.

Lou Wilson Sits Down With The Illuminerdi

The Illuminerdi: How has the publicity tour going for you? I know that it’s probably been a crazy digital roll out…

Lou Wilson: I’m doing my best to maintain. Rolling with the punches and taking it one day at a time I like to say.

I checked out the movie last night and it’s hilarious man.

Lou Wilson: I like to hear that!

Yeah. Particularly Scott’s crew of friends, one of which is you! Obviously I’ve been thinking about your character a lot and one of the things that stood out about Richie is that up until the heist, he seemed to be a notch smarter, a little bit quicker. He knew the tattoos were a bad idea… What do you think he sees in his friends? How does he fit into that crew?

Lou Wilson: Awesome. Funny that you should ask that. It’s something that we talked about a lot. it was really a interesting process kind of building that friend group, because I think that Judd had a bunch of ideas for how they inter-worked with each other, but it wasn’t until I got to New York, Moises got to New York, and me, Ricky, and Pete, all started working together and I think we all started to nail in what each of roles were in that group.

We wanted to create something authentic. We wanted to use the dynamics present in us as people being together. And I think the consensus that me and Judd [Apatow] came to was that Ritchie thinks… Like you said… Ritchie thinks he’s smarter than every one of these dudes.

Like you know. Oscar is a little bit of a hot head. Igor is just truly Armenian. Ritchie I think has these mastermind thoughts in his head that you kind of see come out at times, thinking he’s got this all figured out, but truly has none of the energy to get it actually done. He’s thinking things and being like, “Man, I got this. I’ve figured this out.” But his actual ability to do anything other than hang out in a basement and smoke weed is non-existent.

Lou WIlson King of Staten Island

Who would you say is Ritchie’s best friend in the crew?

Lou Wilson: That’s a good question. I actually think that it’s Scott. I think that an innate kind of part of that crew is that they are all kind of friends in habit. There not jokey friends. They’re not like, “Hey man I really like you and your style. Let’s hang out!” These are the people I [Ritchie] smoke with and who will tolerate me. This is our routine to kind of be together.

But I think that Oscar is too much of a hot head and aggressive for Ritchie. So I think that he thinks that Scott is kind of beneath him, or should do what he says because he smarter than Scott. But I think that he likes Scott for that reason, because he thinks he could control Scott in that way.

So then, what about the time when they decide to do the heist? Because for me I felt like he was pretty gung-ho about it with the rest of the guys? Why do you think he took that turn?

Lou Wilson: This is when you see what this crew is capable of. In that you get these ideas of things that Ritchie has or Oscar has. And I think Oscar has a little more of that, “Let’s fucking do it” kind of attitude. Then you get the two of them together, along with Igor’s willingness and then we eventually see Scott’s willingness…and that’s when the four of them get together and start making really bad decisions.

I think… RItchie’s turn in that moment comes from seeing that these guys aren’t good for each other. My bad ideas get like thrown into motion by Oscar’s hastiness and the next thing you know we are doing a really bad job of robbing a pharmacy…


Picture of Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.