Meet the Women Who Run Hell's Kitchen

(from left to right) Claire (Elisabeth Moss), Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), and Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) in The Kitchen (2019)

Delve into the streets of 1978 New York City this Friday when New Line Cinema and BRON Creative bring you The Kitchen, a gritty, female-driven mob drama from Academy Award® nominated writer and director Andrea Berloff. 

The Kitchen takes place in the 20 blocks between 34th Street, 59th Street, Eight Avenue, and the Hudson River known as Hell’s Kitchen. The Irish mafia has run this dangerous strip of Manhattan for years, but three mob wives are about to turn Hell’s Kitchen on its head. Following the incarceration of their husbands, Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish), and Claire (Elisabeth Moss) step up to run the rackets and take out the competition. “They know that not one of them alone can walk in and try to take over where their husbands left off, but the three of them together have a shot,” says McCarthy.

The Kitchen boasts a formidable cast led by its three leading ladies, each of whom bring their own unique flare to the movie. Get to know these women better as you prepare to watch them team up and run the streets of Hells Kitchen come this Friday. 

Melissa McCarthy

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This former stand-up comedian burst onto the scene in 2010 with her hit series Mike & Molly, which propelled her to memorable appearances in hit comedies like Bridesmaids (2011), for which she earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. McCarthy was soon headlining comedies like The Heat (2013), Tammy (2014), Spy (2015), and Ghostbusters (2016) on her way to becoming a household name.

However, Melissa McCarthy has made a name for herself in genres other than comedies, most notably 2018’s Academy Award® favorite Can You Ever Forgive Me? This biographical crime story saw her take on a more dramatic role, for which she earned her second Academy Award® nomination—this time in the category of Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. 

Melissa McCarthy plays Kathy Brennan in The Kitchen, the leader of the group. Kathy has the best marriage of the three and is the only one sorry to see her husband be locked up. “She pushes herself, out of necessity, into a position of power and then realizes that she likes being in charge,” says McCarthy. “She’s a smart woman who’s never been allowed to run something, and when it turns out that she does it well, she takes pride in that.” 

Tiffany Haddish 

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This Emmy®-winning actress got her start in comedy as well. Haddish’s breakout role came in 2017, co-starring alongside Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, and Jada Pinkett Smith in Girls Trip.   
Haddish has gone on to star in movies and television series like Night School (2018) and The Last O.G. (2018- ), even lending her voice to the 2019 blockbuster The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Tiffany Haddish plays Ruby O’Carroll in The Kitchen, a woman from Harlem that everybody still sees as an outsider. “Ruby just wants to have the best life possible,” says Haddish. “She wants to feel empowered and that she has some control over her circumstances.” While Ruby’s husband, Kevin O’Carroll (James Badge Dale), cheats on her in a passionless marriage, Ruby keeps her eyes open. “Ruby strategically paid attention,” says Haddish. “She studied, she learned how things operated.” Kevin is in for a rude awakening when he returns to pick up where he left off. “It was wonderful working with Andrea and see the growth and evolution of this character,” continues Haddish, “because Ruby is definitely ready.”

Elisabeth Moss 

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Elisabeth Moss’ role in The Kitchen marks a return to the city where she studied ballet as a child at the prestigious School of American Ballet. Moss first made a name for herself in front of the camera in hit television dramas like The West Wing (1999-2006) and Mad Men (2007-2015) before landing her breakout role in Hulu’s hit drama The Handmaid’s Tale (2017- ), for which she earned a Golden Globe® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama. Moss has also starred in female-driven dramas on the silver screen like Girl, Interrupted (1999), The One I Love (2014), and Queen of Earth (2015). 

Elisabeth Moss plays Claire Walsh in The Kitchen, an enforcer who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work. For Claire, her husband’s incarceration is liberating, freeing her from the cycle of bruises and black eyes she suffers at his hands. For this reason, Claire undergoes one of the most dramatic transformations of the three main characters. “I think she’s surprised at first by what she’s capable of,” says Moss, “but it’s also something that feels natural to her.” What Claire is capable of is committing monstrous acts of violence, a role she embraces with confidence. “There’s a joy in watching her take this arc,” continues Moss. “As messed up as it is, it’s the story of a woman finding her power the only way she can, at that time and place, and as a member of that community.”

You can see all three of these award-winning actresses together in The Kitchen when it comes to Regal this Friday. 

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