The Last Supper: Paolo Sorrentino


The Hand of God director Paolo Sorrentino shares his would-be last meal and who’s at the table.

Illustration by Barry Falls
23 February 20222 min read

The best thing would be to have a meal with my parents. If my mom could cook for me, it would be a perfect dinner; my favorite meal that she made for me was gnocchi. We were great pasta eaters at home, and we loved “pizzettas,” small pizzas. My mother made her own tomato sauce; she did everything. Anything you find in the Italian repertoire, she did it. 

We would have this last supper at my home where I grew up — the home where the Schisas live in The Hand of God is almost identical to my home growing up. It would be kind to invite my brother and my sister; and my son, my daughter, and my wife to this dinner, so they can meet my parents. We would all be mocking each other, poking fun at each other, joking around. I have to say that I learned to cook from my sister. When my parents died, my sister taught me. It was the most important thing to learn in order to survive.

Through the character of Fabietto Schisa, I mention in The Hand of God that my favorite dessert is tiramisu. In the 80s, it was trendy — everybody made tiramisu. My mom and I learned to make that kind of cake very well. To drink, we would have my favorite champagne, Cristal. 

The big family lunches, like the one in the film, where extended family meet for a meal outside, are something that happened many, many times with my family, especially in the spring and summer, and on Sundays. Sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, but every Sunday, we shared a family meal.