From Miracle Mops to lmeetings with stars: Joy Mangano dishes on making 'Joy'

NEW YORK -- So then there was that time that Joy Mangano, "Miracle Mop" inventor and home shopping entrepreneur, was sitting at a meeting wedged between Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.

See Full Article

And De Niro leaned over and said: "Joy, I have to talk to you. I have such a great idea for a product!"

Mangano continues the story, laughing: "And Jennifer is on other side and she says, 'Bob, you can't ask her that. Everybody asks her that!"' She won't say what the product idea was, but allows that when things calm down with the movie, she and Bob will probably get around to discussing it again.

Late-night meetings with movie stars -- oh yes, Bradley Cooper was there, too -- isn't what Mangano ever envisioned, but life changed a few years back when she got a call telling her of plans for "Joy." The movie, directed by David O. Russell, tells the inspirational tale of a tenacious Long Island mother who could barely support her family and then had one great idea -- that self-wringing mop -- that launched an empire.

But Mangano, 59, thinks the movie -- on which she serves as executive producer -- has a much more universal message that applies equally to women and men: "Be courageous to do what you're passionate about and know instinctively you should be doing, because if you don't, you'll never have that achievement that you know is within you," she says.

Mangano sat down last week to discuss her life and the film. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

AP: How did you first hear about plans for "Joy"?

Mangano: The telephone rings and it's a producer (who Mangano met years earlier), and he says, 'Hi, Joy, we're here because we're going to make a movie about your life story.' And then David called, and I remember it was in the afternoon, and he said 'I just want to talk for a few minutes,' and when we hung up it was absolutely pitch black out. And that was the beginning of many hundreds of hours of talking. He knows more about me than anybody in the world -- I would never need therapy!"

AP: What do you think he found unique about your story?

Mangano: I've always had this inner resiliency. I grew up in an Italian family in an era where it was, 'When are you gonna get married and have children?' And throughout life, I was always taking care of everyone around me. And through the course of that, I lost ... I think we lose what we ARE. And then to find that again, and to go against all odds and have the courage to keep doing that -- I wish everybody could be able to find that space within themselves. I feel like I grew wings when that happened!

AP: The movie is based on you but also some other businesswomen. Is it accurate about your life?

Mangano: I will say that I SEVERELY inspire the movie. How many women do you know who invented the Miracle Mop?

AP: In the movie, Joy goes to QVC with her mop but it doesn't sell -- until she insists that she herself go on camera.

Mangano: Yes, it was my own determination to say: 'Put ME on with that mop, and the mop will sell.'

AP: So now you're making a new version of the Miracle Mop?

Mangano: Yes and I can promise you, the only thing harder than inventing is reinventing. I was possessed to keep this mop at the original price -- $19.95 -- and I promise when you see it, you'll see why I say it should be $50. I'm telling you, you're gonna sing and dance with this mop -- even if you don't buy it!

AP: What do you think of Jennifer Lawrence playing you?

Mangano: What an honour, right? She has one of the wittiest minds. Within 10 minutes we were finishing each other's sentences. When we met -- I don't know that I've told anybody this, but she looks at me, and my (three adult) children, and says, 'I've never seen a family as close as you all are. It reminds me of my family.' That's something a 25-year old doesn't always pick up on.

AP: What do you most want people to take away from the film?

Mangano: I've had so many people saying afterward, 'There's something I was going to do and I never did, and now I'm gonna do it.' I feel like people are going to want to climb mountains when they get out of this movie.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Antonio Banderas says he's recovered from a heart attack

    Entertainment CTV News
    MADRID -- Spanish film star Antonio Banderas says he has recovered from a heart attack that he had in January. The 56-year-old Banderas tells Spanish media that "I suffered a heart attack on Jan. Source
  • Keira Knightley thought 'Pirates' franchise would be a 'disaster'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Director Richard Curtis has recalled how Keira Knightley once worried Pirates Of The Caribbean would be “a disaster”. In an op-ed for the Radio Times magazine on Friday, Curtis shared that the actress still wasn’t sold on the idea of the pirate franchise after she had finished working on his 2003 romantic comedy Love Actually. Source
  • One Direction's Liam Payne becomes a dad

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    One Direction star Liam Payne is a new dad following the birth of his first son. The singer and his girlfriend, former Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole, have confirmed the happy news about the baby boy, who arrived on Wednesday. Source
  • Woody done with weed

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Is what Woody Harrelson said in a vulture.com interview true? Has the one true Prince of Pot (sorry, Mark Emery) given up smoking marijuana for more than a year and counting? “Who’s next? Willie Nelson? Snoop Dogg?” asks filmmaker Ron Mann. Source
  • 'Justice League' trailer suggests film will be lighter in tone than 'Batman v Superman'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    The Justice League is coming together — literally — in the new trailer for the superhero film, which finds Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash teaming up for the first time ever on the big screen. Source
  • 'I’m the schmuck who landed on the taxiway': Harrison Ford says he was distracted when he flew over plane

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Actor Harrison Ford said he was distracted and concerned about turbulence from another aircraft last month when he mistakenly landed on a taxiway at a Southern California airport after flying low over an airliner with 116 people aboard, according to an audio recording released Friday. Source
  • Mindy Kaling's Newark joke leads to dinner with U.S. politician Cory Booker

    Entertainment CBC News
    A joke about Newark, New Jersey, on The Mindy Project led to dinner plans between U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and star Mindy Kaling. Her character joked after hearing that Booker had come to her colleague's event that "I guess anything to get out of Newark, huh?" Source
  • Adam Sandler continues as Netflix's biggest star

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Netflix is doubling down on Adam Sandler. The streaming giant has extended its deal with the comedian for four more feature films. As part of a previous four-movie deal, Sandler has already produced and starred in two films for Netflix. Source
  • Public memorial service to honour Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds

    Entertainment CBC News
    Stars and fans will gather Saturday for a public memorial to honour late actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher nearly three months after their deaths. The ceremony honouring the lives of the mother-daughter duo will be held at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, the storied cemetery that is their final resting place. Source
  • Fans, friends remember Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds at public memorial

    Entertainment CBC News
    Stars and fans will gather Saturday for a public memorial to honour late actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher nearly three months after their deaths. The ceremony honouring the lives of the mother-daughter duo will be held at Forest Lawn-Hollywood Hills, the storied cemetery that is their final resting place. Source