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

  • Disney teases 28 minutes of 'Star Wars' spinoff 'Rogue One'

    Entertainment CTV News
    MARIN, Calif. -- The secretive "Star Wars" spinoff movie "Rogue One" just got a little more tangible. Disney and Lucasfilm unveiled 28 minutes of footage for reporters on Friday at Skywalker Ranch, teasing the origin story of the band of rebels who aim to steal the plans for the Death Star -- the event that sets into motion the plot of the original 1977 "Star Wars. Source
  • On new album, John Legend considers love and darkness

    Entertainment CTV News
    John Legend has become known as a modern master of the ballad, probing the emotional depths behind love and discovering the darkness that lurks nearby. Releasing his fifth studio album on Friday, Legend stretches into new musical territory as he subtly broadens his conception of ballads, injecting elements of funk and rap. Source
  • Gifts you can smuggle under the tree for every Star Wars fan

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    When I was a but a youngling, my parents searched far and wide to find me a Kenner X-Wing fighter for Christmas. It had wings that would pop open by pressing on R2-D2’s head, it made laser blast sounds at the touch of a button, and my Luke Skywalker action figure fit perfectly in the cockpit. Source
  • Holiday gift guide: The best picks for book lovers [Photos]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There’s something about the heft of a book in your hand that is celebratory and delicious. You know you’re going to open that book and fall into a different world. Here are some books that would make great Christmas gifts: Source
  • Programmed to thrill: sci-fi hit Westworld's finale 'satisfying,' promises star Jimmi Simpson

    Entertainment CBC News
    For Westworld fans trading wild theories about where the headline-grabbing HBO series is headed, Jimmi Simpson has been in your shoes. "I've seen all of them and they're amazing," the American actor said of the fanciful fan speculation about the cable network's thrilling science-fiction series, concluding its dramatic — and controversial — first season this weekend. Source
  • Madonna raises $7.5M for Malawi, slams Trump in Miami show

    Entertainment CTV News
    MIAMI -- Madonna kissed Ariana Grande, repeatedly criticized President elect Donald Trump and said she was ashamed to be an American in a magnetic performance in Miami on Friday night where she raised more than $7.5 million for the African nation of Malawi. Source
  • Katt Williams pleads no contest to assault, battery charges

    Entertainment CTV News
    GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Katt Williams has pleaded no contest to assault and battery charges stemming from an incident with a bodyguard in north Georgia. The comedian, whose real name is Micah Sierra Williams, was charged in March after authorities said he threatened the man while an acquaintance beat him with a baseball bat. Source
  • Shawn Barker walks the line as Johnny Cash in ‘The Man in Black’ [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    BRAUN - A simple idea changed Shawn Barker’s career from run-of-the-mill to one in a million. The actor and musician had been making a living as an Elvis impersonator and turned up at a Broadway audition hoping to play the role in the musical, Million Dollar Quartet. Source
  • P.E.I. police service apologizes to Nickelback

    Entertainment CTV News
    KENSINGTON, P.E.I. -- A small-town P.E.I. police department has issued a public apology to Nickelback, and taken down a social media post that threatened to force drunk drivers to listen to the Alberta band's music. Source
  • ’Full House’ home is staying in the Tanner family

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco home featured in television’s “Full House” has sold to the producer who created the show. KGO-TV reports veteran TV producer Jeff Franklin bought the 3-bedroom Victorian in August. It was on the market for more than $4 million. Source