House of Gucci is many things but forgettable is not one of them. A lot of that comes down to Jared Leto’s character Paolo Gucci, who’s probably politely described as the black sheep of the fashionable family.
Poor Paolo is, to be frank, portrayed as a buffoon who’s walked off the set of a comedy movie, and whose only talent is his ability to overlook his shortcomings. Convinced of his own genius he’s manipulated by the rest of the clan throughout the film and generally made to look a fool. In an interview with The Playlist Leto has enthusiastically broken down how he got into character using some very colourful metaphors to describe his ‘dramatic process.’
“I was snorting lines of arrabbiata sauce by the middle of this movie, I had olive oil for blood,” he explained. “This was a deep dive I did. If you took a biopsy of my skin, it would come back as parmesan cheese! This is my love letter to Italy. There was a lot of work and preparation, and yes, I had an Italian accent, and I enjoyed and embraced that and lived in that space as much as I could, and for as long as I possibly could.”
Leto finished by saying he “climbed into a creative cave” and came out through “the bowels and intestines into the oesophagus of the one and only Paolo Gucci.” Lovely stuff.
Unfortunately for Leto, his pasta-based preparations don’t seem to have paid off with comedic performance being criticised by those who knew the real Paolo. Director and designer Tom Ford who worked for Gucci and knew Paolo personally wrote in the AirMail news that he didn’t recognise Paolo in Leto’s performance.
“Leto’s brilliance as an actor is literally buried under latex prosthetics… Paolo, whom I met on several occasions, was indeed eccentric and did some wacky things,” Ford says. “But his overall demeanour was certainly not like the crazed and seemingly mentally challenged character of Leto’s performance”.
Patrizia Gucci, Paolo’s daughter meanwhile criticised the whole film. “They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system,” she told The Associated Press. “Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed”.
Director Ridley Scott defended his movie claiming the historical facts spoke for themselves. “You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion so you can’t be talking to me about making a profit,” he told Deadline. “As soon as you do that you become part of the public domain.”
The Huse of Gucci, also starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, is in theatres now. If you love Adam Driver check out our guide on how to watch Star Wars in order or if you love a bit of intrigue we have a list of the best thriller movies.