Marisa Tomei has had a long and illustrious career, starring in popular and critically acclaimed films like My Cousin Vinny and The Wrestler. But as is the tradition in Hollywood after an actress passes a certain age, Tomei has found herself being saddled with stereotypical 'mom' roles. While promoting her latest film The King of Staten Island, the actress expressed regret over the new turn her career has taken.
"I really regret starting down this road and I really regret starting to do that. I was, you know, talked into it - not this, but I mean just that change - and I really always felt like, 'Oh, I could play a lot of things.' Honestly, it's probably more of a stretch than other things. [Laughs] But, it's - yeah, I guess I said it all."
The Marisa Tomei problem is far from unique. Even Meryl Streep, generally considered the last word when it comes to acting, has spoken about being offered several roles as the evil witch or nondescript supporting mother after crossing a certain age limit. For Tomei, there is the realization that a lot of the roles she is going to be offered from now on will belong to the 'hero's mom' variety, even as her peer Robert Downey Jr. played Iron Man until 2019. It is an unjust situation that she admits to simply trying to make the best of.
"I think every actor and actress has a lot of dimensions to them and if the scope of what is being written and being made is narrow, and you want to keep working, you do what you can. I mean, I do. I tried it. It was maybe not the right road, but you know, I do try to make the most of it."
But despite the signals Hollywood is sending her way, Tomei still wants to find new and exciting roles to embody, in genres that she has not yet had the chance to work in.
"I mean, even genres that I would love to be in, you know? The femme fatale, and in a noir. I still think there are other aspects of even romantic comedies. I really love them, but you know really at a screwball level. There's so many, many - the breadth of as much as women are, there's so many roles."
Despite the lack of interesting roles, the actress continues to be a part of popular movies. Tomei recently put her own spin on the character of Aunt May in MCU's Spider-Man movies, which saw her reunite on screen with Only You co-star and real-life ex Robert Downey Jr., and engage in some light flirtation that took fans down memory lane.
Tomei is currently starring in The King of Staten Island alongside Pete Davidson and Bill Burr. The movie is about a mid-twenties slacker who must deal with his mom's new firefighter boyfriend while struggling to realize his dreams. The King of Staten Island has been well-reviewed by critics, and is available on VOD starting Friday, June 12. These quotes originated at Collider.