Ray Romano made his directorial debut at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival with Somewhere In Queens, the New York set dramedy also starring Romano along with Laurie Metcalf, Tony Lo Bianco, Sebastian Maniscalco, Jennifer Esposito, Jacob Ward, Sadie Stanley, Dierdre Friel, and Jon Manfrellotti.
Romano stars as Leo Russo who helps run his family’s construction business, and Laurie Metcalf as his wife, Angela – a breast cancer survivor living in constant fear it will return, living a simple life in Queens, surrounded by their overbearing Italian-American family.
As the prospect of athletic scholarships becomes more likely for his basketball star son “Sticks” (Jacob Ward), Leo Russo (Ray Romano) secretly meddles in teen social dynamics to make sure his child stays happy and continues playing well. But keeping secrets from his observant wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf) and extended Italian-American family proves more difficult than expected.
In an interview with Deadline, when asked, “What from your life found its way into the movie?”, Romano replied, “My son is six foot five, and played center on his high school basketball team. And I used to love going to the game and got a thrill out of watching. Lame as this sounds, I used to love the attention. Hey, that’s my son and he’s the starting center. I say lame, because, like I didn’t have enough attention already, being a celebrity? But I really got a thrill outta watching him, being proud of him and being the guy who gets slapped on his back. We knew he wasn’t going to play Division One in college, he was a 6’5” center. So when his basketball career was over, I really felt this sadness. That was the spark. What if this was a guy who, that’s all he had? His life was very small and, and he felt small and this made him feel like somebody. That was our jumping off point. And my wife is a breast cancer survivor and I’d gone through that with her, so that’s where that came from. The whole Italian thing, too, and the father issues. I’ve always had father issues.”