Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci hits theaters this week and it’s arguably one of the most anticipated movies of the year. It chronicles the scandal surrounding the famed Gucci family of the Gucci fashion house. It’s a story involving betrayal, fame, wealth, double-crossing, drama, high fashion…and murder.
Of course, as with any biopic about real-life people, there’s always a lot of care and attention put into making the actors look as much like their real-life counterparts as wigs, makeup and prosthetics will allow. Sometimes, the transformation is uncannily accurate and other times, not so much. Did House of Gucci get it right? Let’s take a look at the main characters and some of the supporting cast compared to the real-life people they’re portraying.
Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani
Lady Gaga plays Patrizia Reggiani, who was dubbed “the Black Widow” by the Italian press after hiring a hitman to murder her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci. Adding to the bizarre nature of the crime is the fact that the hitman in question was a down-on-his-luck pizzeria owner, who had been connected to Patrizia through her friend Pina, a self-proclaimed psychic. Reggiani cemented her reputation as a diva when she was offered the possibility of parole under a work-release program but she turned it down claiming, “I’ve never worked a day in my life and I’m certainly not going to start now.”
Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci
Adam Driver plays the doomed Maurizio Gucci, scion and one-time head of House Gucci and its fashion empire. Don’t feel too bad for him, though – he wasn’t exactly an innocent. Ruthless in business. he went to war with his uncle, Aldo, for full control of the Gucci empire. And in 1985, he told his then-wife Patrizia that he was going on a short business trip to Florence. He then sent a friend to Patrizia the next day to tell her their marriage was over and that he didn’t plan to return. Ice cold.
Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci
Jared Leto plays Paolo Gucci, yet another schemer in the Gucci fashion crime family. After being kicked out of the Gucci empire for running a side business he hid from his father and uncle, he helped Maurizio in his push to take over Aldo’s spot and gain control of the company. Sadly, he died bankrupt and alone after having spent a brief stint in prison for failure to pay alimony and child support. In other words, a mess.
Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci
Jeremy Irons is Rodolfo Gucci, the father of Maurizio Gucci. While firmly entrenched in the Gucci fashion house, surprisingly, Rodolfo was better-known as a well-known Italian film star in the late 1920s-1940s, starring in over 40 films in that time. He went by the stage name Maurizio D’Ancora and later named his only son after that stage name. When Rodolfo’s father, the founder of the Gucci fashion empire, Guccio Gucci, died, Rodolfo left acting to take over the Gucci company with his brother, Aldo.
Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci
Al Pacino is Aldo Gucci, the eldest son of Guccio Gucci and, for decades, helped his father run the company. After Guccio’s death, Aldo and Rodolfo split the company 50/50. However, Aldo’s sons felt that Rodolfo wasn’t pulling his weight and Aldo set up a perfume subsidiary for him and his sons. The ensuing fight over rights and ownership turned into a full-blown family war that lasted for over a decade.
Salma Hayek as Giuseppina Auriemma
Salma Hayek plays Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, Patrizia Reggiani’s best friend. Pina was the one who set Patrizia up with Benedetto Ceraulo, the debt-riddled pizzeria owner-turned-hitman who would go on to assassinate Reggiani’s ex-husband in a murder-for-hire plot. Prior to being charged as part of that plot, Auriemma made her living as the personal psychic to Reggiani and other high-end clientele. You’d think she’d have been able to see a jail sentence coming.
Jack Huston as Domenico De Sole
Jack Huston plays Domenico De Sole, who wasn’t part of the Gucci family but played a role arguably as important as anyone in the family. A lawyer by trade, De Sole was Rodolfo Gucci’s lawyer in the early 1980s as well as the House of Gucci and he helped them through the corporate restructuring. Later, he came on board as the CEO of Gucci America and later the president and CEO of the Gucci Group, during which time he dragged the Gucci brand out of near-bankruptcy to becoming one of the most powerful luxury brands in the world.
Reeve Carney as Tom Ford
Reeve Carney is Tom Ford, the powerhouse fashion designer. When he was just a young designer with huge dreams, he decided to up and move to Europe, leaving Texas behind. Moving to Milan in 1990, he was appointed Gucci’s head of design for Gucci’s women’s-wear line and by 1994, he’d be promoted to Gucci’s creative director. Along with De Sole’s business savvy, Ford’s creative sensibilities and vision were largely credited with turning around the fortunes of the fashion house and rescuing it from close to bankruptcy in the 90s to it being valued at close to $4 billion by 1999.
Camille Cottin as Paola Franchi
Camille Cottin plays Paola Franchi, the girlfriend of Maurizio Gucci and the woman he was set to marry when he was gunned down in 1995. During Patrizia Reggiani’s murder trial, prosecutors argued that she was jealous of Franchi and desperate to stop the wedding as she’d lose half her alimony payments once Maurizio remarried. Three hours after Maurizio was gunned down, Reggiani drafted up an order telling Franchi to vacate the luxury apartment in which she and Maurizio had lived and had the eviction notice delivered to Franchi the day after Maurizio’s murder.
House of Gucci is in theaters now.