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“Father, Son, and House of Gucci.” Since taking the internet by storm, the phrase lit up an LED sign at the end of the red carpet for House of Gucci’s Los Angeles premiere on Thursday, where the team behind Ridley Scott’s biographical crime drama continued a worldwide tour in promotion of the film at the newly opened Academy Museum.
Set in the late 1980s, House of Gucci follows the murderous romance between Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci, when Reggiani marries into the dynastic Italian luxury label. Her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge — and ultimately murder.
Inspired by Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, a film adaptation for the story has been in the works for nearly 20 years. But it wasn’t until 2019 when screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna accepted the task of bringing it to life that the idea was finally realized.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) November 19, 2021
As for the iconic phrase “Father, Son and House of Gucci” — said by Lady Gaga (who plays Reggiani) in the film’s trailer — Bentivegna gives all credit to the pop star.
“That came from Lady Gaga’s genius,” the screenwriter said, praising the star’s improvisation. “There were so many great lines that were ad libbed. Most of them were cut, but that one made it.”
To prepare, Bentivegna studied the Gucci family through Forden’s book, along with his own research prior to crafting the script.
“I had Lady Gaga in mind from the first dot on the page,” he said of the actress. “People say that sometimes after the actor is cast, but in this case, it’s true. Because she is who she is. She’s such an incredible performer, and her background, obviously, her Italian background. In my wildest dreams, I thought that maybe she’d want to do it.”
Director Ridley Scott, coming off the recent October release of his medieval drama The Last Duel, was also in attendance, along with his wife and House of Gucci producer Giannina Facio.
“By the time we had the right script, it was time for Gaga,” Facio added of the casting process. “Gaga was available, we met with her, we knew she was Patrizia for us.”
This year alone, Scott directed two films – House of Gucci and The Last Duel, both of which star Adam Driver — but the 83-year old director doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“As a competitive person, it’s fantastic,” the Gladiator director said of his busy schedule. “We did two films in 20 months.”
“Through COVID!” Facio chimed in. “He hates vacations. If he’s not working, he’s not happy.”
“I start on another film in January,” Scott noted, presumably referencing his upcoming project Kitbag, an epic drama centered on French leader Napoleon Bonaparte starring Joaquin Phoenix and Jodie Comer. “I’m not a vacation person.”
Jared Leto, who plays Paolo Gucci in the film, arrived on the carpet in a fashionable pink suit, striking a stark contrast to the extreme transformation he underwent for his role.
Equipped with heavy prosthetics, a fat suit and a receding hairline, Leto is nearly unrecognizable in the film — an evolution that went beyond the physical, as Leto also adopted a new accent and mannerisms for the part. As for moving on from such an immersive character, Leto emphasized that such things can take time.
“You make a commitment to something like that, you dive in deep, and it’s not like you take a shower and you wash it all away,” the star said. “There are remnants. There’s a lot of work inside and out. Even speaking with a different accent for a long time, you use different muscles. Accents are just a different way of making shapes in your mouth. Using your body in a different way, so if you train yourself to speak a different way, it can take a minute to let go of things but I think that’s okay.”
“I was sad to see Paolo go,” he added, reminiscing on the character.
Just in time for the release of the film, Leto also recently walked in Gucci’s Love Parade fashion show, which took place on Hollywood Boulevard earlier this month.
“I’m very close with Alessandro, he’s a very good friend of mine,” Leto said of Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. “It’s fun. I get to kind of lean on him for all of this stuff. He makes it all the more enjoyable.”
“I think they were really happy and thrilled, and excited to see what I was gonna do,” Leto continued, speaking to Michele and the Gucci team’s reaction to his involvement in the film. “I think we enjoy each other’s work and that’s a nice relationship to have.”
The Gucci brand has long since been separated from the family itself, ever since Maurizio Gucci (played by Driver) sold his remaining stock of the company in 1993.
As for how the real-life Gucci family would react to the film, writer Bentivegna wasn’t concerned. “I think of it as a work of fiction. A creative interpretation of the truth, really…I hope they see the irony and the humor in it.”
House of Gucci hits theaters on Thursday.
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