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Lorraine Bracco in ‘Welcome to Mama’s.’ Photo Courtesy of Crown Media

Academy Award nominee Lorraine Bracco (“Goodfellas”) chatted with Digital Journal’s Markos Papadatos about her upcoming Hallmark film “Welcome to Mama’s.”

“Welcome to Mama’s” will premiere on Saturday, February 26, as part of the network’s “Loveuary” programming event. Actors Melanie Scrofano, Daniel di Tomasso, and Lorraine Bracco star in this new original Hallmark film. “It was fun,” she admitted. “I hadn’t worked in a long time so it was fun to be back on a set and hear ‘lights, camera, action.’ It was great fun.”

Allan Harmon directed “Welcome to Mama’s” from a screenplay by William Penick. “It was a sweet script,” she said. “There are so many bad things going on in the world that it let me go away from everything for a while.”

Synopsis of the film

Amy (Melanie Scrofano) inherits a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, after “Mama”(Lorraine Bracco), the owner and Amy’s dear friend unexpectedly passes away. Amy, who is trained as a restaurant manager, teams up with a charming but slightly egotistical master chef named Frank (Daniel di Tomasso), who is looking for a second chance.

They hope to honor Mama by relaunching the restaurant for the community that loves it and her so much.

Despite Amy and Frank’s differences both personally and professionally, they discover that the most important ingredient for any recipe is always love.

Lorraine as ‘Mama’

Bracco was drawn to her character, Mama, for many reasons. “I loved that Mama cared about everybody, she wanted a community and she took this adorable young girl into her life. She had no children, so that was very moving and touching to me. This woman was capable of having that extended family for so long, they spent years together, and I loved that. It’s a beautiful thing in life to see that,” she said.

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“I loved that she cared for this young girl that lost her mother,” she said. “I like how they created this lifelong relationship with its ups and downs like everybody.”

Working with Daniel di Tomasso and Melanie Scrofano

She had great words about working with her co-stars Melanie Scrofano and Daniel di Tomasso. “Oh my God. I loved working with Daniel. He is a beautiful and adorable guy,” she said. “Melanie was great as well. They were both a lot of fun.”

“When we film the movie, we don’t know how people will react to it,” she said.

The Felix Organization

Bracco is helping a Girl Scout group where all of the girls are all from a shelter. She is raising money for them and donating cookies to her favorite charity, The Felix Organization, which sends foster children to camp. “I love that I am doing that, it’s making me so happy,” she said. “I love that I got the Girl Scout people on my side. I’m an honorary Chair at the Felix Organization, I was there from the beginning. Sadly, we have a lot of foster kids here in New York, too many.”

“It was around Valentine’s Day so I thought it was sweet to give kids boxes of cookies,” she added.

The digital age

On being an actress in the digital age, Bracco said, “Things are happening and it’s good. I was just in South Caroline making a movie called ‘Boys of Summer’ with a bunch of kids and Mel Gibson was in it. Again, it was so much fun being on a set, I loved it. There are a bunch of kids in it that are well-known.”

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Regarding the title of the current chapter of his life, Bracco said, “Happy to Still Be Here.”

On the key to longevity in the entertainment business, she said, “Picking the right material and enjoying it.”

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If she were to have any superpower, she revealed, “I think I would want to fly.” “Just to be able to stop and go. I want to fly,” she said with a sweet laugh.

Bracco defined the word success as “being able to do whatever I want to do, and go wherever I want to go. Success is freedom for me.”

For her fans and supporters, she concluded about “Welcome to Mama’s,” “I hope they get a good meal before they watch the movie. It’s all about family and food, and during the pandemic we got to explore family and food a lot more.”

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