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Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, John DíLeo and Dianna Agron, stars of The Family

Relativity Media releases The Family nationwide on August 13th, 2013.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think is so appealing about dark themes?

Robert De Niro: Everyoneís always interested in a dark theme, especially when thereís humor connected to it. It seems like that helps---if thatís an integral and organic part of the whole story.

Michelle Pfeiffer: Itís about whatís taboo. In civilized societies, we spend our lifetimes trying to become whatís socially acceptable. Weíre dark and weíre light, and we all have both sides to us. Weíre sort of living vicariously through these characters on screen. Especially with this type of film, youíre horrified, but also laughing at the same time. Youíre ashamed that youíre laughing at this horror in front of you, but thatís what also makes it so unexpected. So ultimately, itís entertaining.

John DíLeo: I think this film has a lot of different elements. Itís going to be a good package, so I think audiences are really going to like it.

Dianna Agron: Escapism. Iím sure almost no one will say that they relate to the themes of this movie. So you go to the movies to laugh, and see things that you donít normally see in real life.

NYC MOVIE GURU: Michelle, what attracted to you to starring in The Family?

MP: I was really excited to do this because I loved working on Married to the Mob for so many reasons, mostly because I love [director] Jonathan Demme. This was really the first opportunity for me to enter back into that world. I was thrilled and delighted, but a little nervous that people would make comparisons between the two characters, as they are pretty different.

NYC MOVIE GURU: Diana and John, what attracted you to your role?

DA: One of the things I love about her so much is that she is a dreamer, and doesnít really want anything to do with what her family perpetuates. She wants to fall in love, and wants the fairytale. Thatís when she flips, because thatís what she knows what to do. So I loved the duality to her. Who doesnít want to fake beat people up? (laughs)

JD: With this one character, I got to do so many different things on so many different levels that most actors donít get to do in several films. This is not just a normal mob movie. Itís a fish-out-of-water story. All the people I got to work with obviously, and filming in France for three months was unreal. It was my first time out of the country. I had to get my passport and everything.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Robert, did you re-watch Goodfellas before the production stage of The Family?

RDN: I did re-watch it. The DVD also has a lot of stuff that I had not seen, such as interviews with Henry Hill and the other characters. Doing the CinemaTech scene for The Family, I wanted to make sure everything was covered. I also spoke to [Goodfellas' screenwriter and author] Nicholas Pileggi a few times. I also spoke to [The Family's writer/director] Luc Besson to make sure the monologue was accurate. While the Goodfellas monologue was in the book version of The Family, there was also a monologue about going back to the neighborhood. It wasnít connected to what Goodfellas was. There were specifics that had to be fixed. I wanted to look at the movie and interviews with people just to refresh my mind.

NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think are the basic elements that turn a dark comedy into a classic?

RDN:I think the human part of it has to be important. There has to be some grounding and reality--not that you can't go off in different directions, but even that has to be grounded in reality, ideally.

MF:I think it's something that covers new territory that hasn't been covered before, and a good story. Those two elements, in whatever genre they're in, will turn the film into a classic.

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