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Is Joy Based On A Real Person And How Accurate Is The Film?

Three years after the successful release of "Silver Linings Playbook," the trio of Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, and Bradley Cooper reunited for the 2015 biographical dramedy "Joy," the story of a struggling divorcée who, despite the odds, becomes a successful entrepreneur on QVC and HSN thanks to her self-wringing mop invention. It's an inspiring tale that is, in fact, based on the determination and resiliency of a real woman.

Regular viewers of HSN have likely seen Joy Mangano on their television screens at some point over the past two-plus decades. The plotline of "Joy," written and directed by David O. Russell, the writer and director of "Silver Linings Playbook," is largely based on the popular inventor's life. As seen in the film, she is the brains behind the Miracle Mop, which sold 18,000 units during her first-ever appearance on QVC in 1992, as well as numerous other items. Some that are currently available through HSN include clothes hangers, an antimicrobial leather tote, and products from her CleanBoss line, though she has 100 patents and trademarks to her name.

In a 2015 interview with Time, Mangano said of Russell's movie, "People will ask, 'Were you worried to be the inspiration?' Not a doubt in my mind that he would just do everything right, and he did."

Joy is a blend of reality and the imagination of David O. Russell

"Joy" might have Joy Mangano's stamp of approval, but that doesn't mean everything is 100% biographical. In a 2015 interview with Vanity Fair, Elizabeth Gabler, then president of Fox 2000, explained that "Joy" is a blend of reality and the mind of David O. Russell, saying, "The film is definitely a very rich tapestry, and all those threads come from some places in Joy's real story and some places that came out of his imagination and other places that he just picked up along the way of his life."

Some things — like the success of Mangano's first appearance on QVC — were changed for the screen. While the fictional inventor is tasked with making 50,000 mops in a week, the real one only had to craft 1,000. Another discrepancy is her jealous half sister Peggy (Elisabeth Röhm), who doesn't actually exist.

Despite these modifications, after spending approximately 100 hours on the phone with Mangano, Russell accurately depicts the most important lesson of her life. Mangano told ABC News, "So many of us have ideas and inspirations and the mop just represents all of that. And how many of us stuck it away and say, 'You know, I don't know, but if you believe in yourself and go after it.' That really is the message."