Lady Gaga has revealed that she purposely avoided talking to Patrizia Gucci before playing her in the House Of Gucci biopic featuring the Italian socialite.
The singer-come-actress, 35, explicitly stated that ‘nobody’ was going to tell her how to play the role of Patricia – not even the convicted criminal herself.
Patrizia – also known as the Black Widow – was found guilty and sentenced to 29 years for hiring the hitman that murdered her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci.
Star: Lady Gaga has revealed that she purposely avoided talking to Patrizia Gucci before playing her in the House Of Gucci biopic featuring the Italian socialite in an interview with Vogue
Patrizia previously said in March she felt ‘annoyed’ that Gaga had not reached out to meet her before portraying the role.
However Lady Gaga has now hit back, telling Vogue magazine: ‘I only felt that I could do this story justice if I approached it with the eye of a curious woman who was interested in possessing a journalistic spirit so that I could read between the lines of what was happening in the film’s scenes.
‘Meaning that nobody was going to tell me who Patrizia Gucci was, not even Patrizia Gucci.’
During the interview, Gaga also discussed her dedication to the role as she revealed she opted for a ‘full method’ process and did not break character for nine months.
She said: ‘It is three years since I started working on it and I will be fully honest and transparent: I spoke with an accent for nine months of that.
Opinions: The singer-come-actress, 35, explicitly stated that ‘nobody’ was going to tell her how to play the role of Patricia – not even the convicted criminal herself (Gaga pictured in the film)
‘Off camera, I never broke. I stayed with her. It was nearly impossible for me to speak in the accent as a blonde. I instantly had to dye my hair, and I started to live in a way whereby anything that I looked at, anything that I touched, I started to take notice of where and when I could see money.
‘I started to take photographs as well. I have no evidence that Patrizia was a photographer, but I thought as an exercise, and finding her interests in life, that I would become a photographer, so I took my point-and-shoot camera everywhere that I went.
‘I noticed that Patrizia loved beautiful things. If something wasn’t beautiful, I deleted it. I became fascinated with the journey of this woman.’
After learning Gaga was set to play her in the biopic, Patrizia Gucci né Reggiani, told an Italian journalist: ‘I am quite annoyed by the fact that Lady Gaga is playing me in the new Ridley Scott film without even having the foresight and sensitivity to come and meet me.’
The role: Patrizia – also known as the Black Widow – (pictured in the 80s) was found guilty and sentenced to 29 years for hiring the hitman that murdered her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci
Gucci told the Associated Press in April that she ‘spoke for the family’ when she said that they were ‘truly disappointed’ by what they have seen of the film so far.
She said that paparazzi photos of Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci and Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci were not an ‘accurate likeness’ to her real life relatives.
She said: ‘My grandfather was a very handsome man, like all the Guccis, and very tall, blue eyes and very elegant,’ Patrizia Gucci told AP. ‘He is being played by Al Pacino, who is not very tall already, and this photo shows him as fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly. Shameful, because he doesn’t resemble him at all.’
‘They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system….Our family has an identity, privacy,’ she said. ‘We can talk about everything. but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed.’
Dedication: During the interview, Gaga also discussed her dedication to the role as she revealed she opted for a ‘full method’ process and did not break character for nine months
Elsewhere in the Vogue interview, Gaga spoke about playing the controversial character, saying: ‘I wish not to glorify somebody that would commit murder.
‘But I do wish to pay respect to women throughout history who became experts at survival, and to the unfortunate consequences of hurt.
‘I hope that women will watch this and remind themselves to think twice about the fact that hurt people hurt people. And it’s dangerous. What happens to somebody,’ she asks, ‘when they’re pushed over the edge?’
She added of making the film: ‘It was the experience of a lifetime making this film because every minute of every day I thought of my ancestors in Italy, and what they had to do so that I could have a better life.
‘I just wanted to make them proud, which is why I made the decision to make the performance about a real woman and not about the idea of a bad woman.’
However she also revealed that she went so deep into the part she began to lose touch with reality.
The star explained: ‘I had some psychological difficulty at one point towards the end of filming. I was either in my hotel room, living and speaking as Reggiani, or I was on set, living and speaking as her.
‘I remember I went out into Italy one day with a hat on to take a walk. I hadn’t taken a walk in about two months and I panicked. I thought I was on a movie set.’
Reaction: Elsewhere in the Vogue interview, Gaga spoke about playing the controversial character, saying: ‘I wish not to glorify somebody that would commit murder’ (Gaga is pictured in the film)
The film, which documents Reggiani’s sensational plot to murder her ex-husband, is based on the novel The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by author Sara Gay Forden.
Reggiani, nicknamed the ‘Black Widow’, was found guilty of paying a hit man €300,000 (£240,000) to murder 46–year–old Maurizio Gucci, an heir to the fashion empire, in 1995.
He had left her for another woman 10 years previously after telling her he was going on a short business trip.
She was also said to be furious her former husband had started seeing other women, and feared her daughters’ $170million inheritance was at risk if he remarried before ordering the hit.
Drama: Reggiani eventually hired hitman Benedetto Ceraulo, a debt-ridden pizzeria owner who shot Gucci dead on the steps of his office in Milan
She also wanted more than the $650,000 she had been offered in a divorce settlement, the court heard.
Reggiani eventually hired hitman Benedetto Ceraulo, a debt-ridden pizzeria owner who shot Gucci dead on the steps of his office in Milan as he arrived for work. Ceraulo was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
She was convicted after her clairvoyant and confidante Pina Auriemma turned informer and told police about the plot.
During the murder trial, which transfixed Italy, Reggiani arrived each day wearing head-to-toe Gucci clothes and accessories.
The court heard how she had ordered the murder of her husband after he offered her $650,000 in a divorce settlement.
She was initially sentenced to 29 years in 1998, which was reduced to 26 on appeal. She served 18 – with her pet ferret Bambi as a companion for some of the time – before being released in October 2014.
Well-known for her luxury lifestyle, Reggiani once said: ‘I’d rather cry in a Rolls than be happy on a bicycle’ and turned down the offer of day release while in prison because it would have meant doing ‘menial’ work.
In 2017 a court ruled Reggiani was entitled to receive £900,000 a year from her ex-husband’s fortune.
Resentment: Reggiani, was found guilty of paying a hit man €300,000 (£240,000) to murder 46–year–old Maurizio Gucci, an heir to the fashion empire
Maurizio Gucci was the grandson of Guccio Gucci, founder of the fashion company made famous with its double G logo.
In the early 1990s it was hit by problems and he sold the label for $120 million, just two years before his death.
The new film is scheduled to go on general release from November 24th 2021.
See the full feature in the December issue of British Vogue available via digital download and on newsstands from Friday November 5.
The Gucci empire
The fashion empire of Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci, a Florentine leather merchant whose business of selling leather travel bags prospered after the Depression and World War Two.
Guccio’s son Aldo expanded the business into Paris, New York and Tokyo as the ‘twin Gs’ of the family name became a worldwide fashion icon.
By 1974, the Gucci empire numbered 14 stores and 46 franchised boutiques around the world.
At around the same time, celebrities like Jackie Kennedy were helping establish Gucci as the world’s leading fashion brand by embracing its products.
Maurizio Gucci, Guccio’s grandson and Aldo’s nephew, took control of the company from the board of directors after Aldo, who was sent to prison for tax evasion in 1986 aged 81.
However, Maurizio would be the last member of the family to head the Gucci business.
By 1989, nearly 50 per cent of the business had been bought out by Investcorp, a group of investment bankers angling for shares of the business.
In 1993, Maurizio sold his holding for $170m to a Bahrain-based investment company.