In honor of the movie’s 1970s Hell’s Kitchen setting, Hollywood Boulevard was transformed into the mean and gritty streets of New York — complete with faux brick walls, stoops and corrugated steel fences — while classic hits from the Police and the Bee Gees blared out over speakers.
The Kitchen follows the exploits of three women who decide to take the reins of their husbands’ criminal empire after the men are sentenced to prison.
McCarthy, who is best known for her comedic roles, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why she enjoyed taking on the character of a ruthless criminal leader for the first time.
“Its fun. There’s such an aspect of these women trying to survive, and they are badasses. Its out of necessity, which I loved,” she said. “I love the genre of a mafia gangster movie. This is one is a little grittier because you see them coming into it and they have to fight their way up.”
The film features a powerhouse cast of female actors, and Moss told THR it was the story that attracted all three A-listers to the film.
“I thought it was a really unique script. I hadn’t read anything like it. I had certainly not seen a mob movie starring three women. I thought the idea of these really flawed, interesting, complex women who are not superheroes, who are not good at what they do at first, who make mistakes — and there are major consequences to the violence and the mistakes that they make — that was a very real story,” she said.
Before the screening started, Haddish told the audience that she’d like to lead them in a prayer for the success of the film and the audience’s enjoyment.
“I like to pray over my movies just because I really want everyone to feel joy and happiness and to truly feel entertained, and sometimes you need the Lord to help you with that,” Haddish told the crowd inside before reciting a brief prayer.
The film was written and directed by veteran screenwriter Andrea Berloff, who was behind the camera for the first time in her career. She told THR why she felt like this was a movie she had to make.
“I’ve never seen a story like this before. I’ve never seen an authentic mob movie for real with women at the heart of it. That was fresh and different and, in my opinion, that’s the only way a movie gets made today is by doing something different,” she said. “Audiences are letting us know that they’re tired of the same old thing, and we have to keep reinventing ourselves, and I think a fresh, different story is the way to do it.”
There was a party-like atmosphere in the audience during the screening as fans loudly cheered, shouted and “ooh-ed” during some of the film’s more powerful moments and shocking plot twists while watching the three women fight, scheme and shoot their way to the top of the criminal underworld. The film’s thrilling finale was greeted with long and sustained applause.
Following the screening, guests walked across the street to the Roosevelt for the afterparty.
The Kitchen hits theaters across the country on Aug. 9.