A psychiatric nurse and an angry family: All the juicy behind-the-scenes details from House of Gucci.

Another day, another wild story from Lady Gaga about the lengths she went to on the House of Gucci set.

The biopic is about the murder of Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of fashion house founder, Guccio Gucci. The murder was orchestrated by his ex-wife, Patrizia, who was later convicted of arranging his assassination in 1998. She was referred to across Italy as the 'Black Widow'.

The film is intriguing for many reasons: firstly, there's the murder. Duh. But the movie also includes outrageous excess, family drama, incredible fashion and Lady Gaga with an Italian accent. 

Then there is the fact that its intrigue has been boosted by a frankly WILD promotional cycle, with Gaga, Adam Driver and other members of the A-list cast dropping crazy tidbits about filming and their acting methods along the way. Oh, and it also helps that the story is based on a true story, and the real-life people involved are not exactly stoked about it.

Here's a round-up of all the juicy behind-the-scenes info and drama.

Lady Gaga went full method, Italian accent included.

Gaga's role as Patrizia obviously required a very thick Italian accent.

In an interview with British Vogue, Gaga said she put on the accent and then just... didn't stop. FOR NINE WHOLE MONTHS.

But as it turns out, that was only half the time that Gaga actually 'lived as' the woman Italians dubbed the 'Black Widow'.

"It is three years since I started working on it," she told the publication. "And I will be fully honest and transparent: I lived as her [Reggiani] for a year and a half. And I spoke with an accent for nine months of that."

Image: Universal Pictures.


Gaga said she "never broke" character or dropped the Italian accent during that time, even when she was off-camera.

She dyed her hair darker because it was "nearly impossible for me to speak in the accent as a blonde," and started reacting to things the way she believed Patrizia might have.

"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."

She explained it further to Variety:

"I was always Patrizia. I always spoke in my accent. And even if I was speaking about things that weren't related to the movie—I wasn't pretending that Maurizio was waiting for me downstairs—I was still living my life. I just lived it as her."

There was a psychiatric nurse on set.

Because of this very intense method acting, Gaga requested an on-set psychiatric nurse.

"I brought the darkness with me home because [Patrizia's] life was dark," she told Variety.

"I had a psychiatric nurse with me towards the end of filming. I sort of felt like I had to. I felt that it was safer for me."

Gaga said she didn't think artists should have to push themselves this far for a role, and she wasn't sure why she felt the need to.

"I don't think that any actor should push themselves to that limit. And I ask myself all the time why I do that. I've done some pretty extreme art pieces throughout my career — the things I've put my body through, my mind. It's like a walnut of sadness in my stomach as I say this to you. I don't know why I'm like that. I think that the best answer I could give you is I have a sort of romantic relationship with suffering for your art that I developed as a young girl, and it just sometimes goes too far. And when it does go too far, it can be hard to reel it in on your own."

She said she was seeking advice from other actors on how to rein it in.

A lot was improvised... including the wildest part of a sex scene.

Director Ridley Scott gave the actors the opportunity to improvise a bit during film, which led to two major moments:

First of all, Gaga ad-libbed her "father, son and House of Gucci" line, which instantly became iconic after being featured in the movie trailer.

"There was so many great ad libs that didn't make the cut. That was certainly a great one. They just had such a great time riffing," Screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna said.


"I think that some writers might feel like their words are precious and everything has to be respected, but for me it was joyful. It was like they're feeling it. It's like music. It's like they're jamming and the melody is taking them to this awesome improvisation. I was very flattered that they felt like doing that."

Image: Universal Pictures/Mamamia.

Another major moment of improvisation came during a sex scene between Gaga's Patrizia and Driver's Maurizio early in a film.

"[Patrizia] very much uses sex as a tool, and I feel like it kind of physically embodies what's going on between them; he comes from this not necessarily emotionally vapid, but [his life is] not as passionate, and that's what she brought," Driver explained to Entertainment Weekly at House of Gucci's NYC premiere.

During the scene, the characters begin using... animal noises.

Turns out that wasn't... in the script.

"We blocked it out as we would any fight or any scene, then we just kind of ran it maybe once or twice, and that was it," he said.

"We were feeling it, so to speak! Everything I say sounds like a double entendre, but, we winged it! I will say also, at that point, we had been shooting for a month, so we felt very comfortable to go where we needed to go."

The Gucci family were unimpressed.

The Gucci family have been outspoken about their distaste for the film:

"Although the film claims to tell the 'true story' of the family, the narrative is anything but accurate, depicting Aldo Gucci — president of the company for 30 years — and other members of the Gucci family who were the protagonists of well-documented events, as hooligans, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them," the family said in a statement.


"Even more censurable is the baffling reconstruction of events that advocate leniency toward a woman who was definitively convicted as the instigator of Maurizio Gucci's murder. To see her portrayed as a victim — not only in the film but also in statements by the cast — who is trying to survive in a male-dominated corporate culture, is an injustice and could not be further from the truth."

One of Maurizio's second cousins, Patrizia Gucci (not to be confused with his murderous ex-wife), spoke on behalf of the family to express their concern about its portrayal in the film.

According to the Associated Press, "Their concerns stem from the casting of top actors to play family members whose stories intersect little with Maurizio Gucci's murder, the lack of current contact with [Ridley] Scott's production company, and inaccuracies they see in the book on which the film is based."

Read more: "I still feel offended." What all the House of Gucci characters looked like in real life.

At the time, Patrizia told the agency they were yet to see the film but, based on photos of the cast, the family wasn't optimistic.

"My grandfather [Aldo] was a very handsome man, like all the Guccis, and very tall, blue eyes and very elegant," she said. 

"He is being played by Al Pacino, who is not very tall already, and [on-set photos] shows him as fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly. Shameful, because he doesn’t resemble him at all."

Image: Universal Pictures/Getty.


Her father, Paolo Gucci, is played by Jared Leto. Patrizia was also offended by his interpretation.

She called out Leto's appearance, especially his "unkempt hair and a lilac corduroy suit" as "horrible, horrible... I still feel offended."

The real Patrizia Reggiani was also unhappy about it.

The real-life Patrizia said she was "annoyed" that Gaga had not reached out to her before playing her in the movie.

"I'm annoyed by the fact that Lady Gaga is portraying me in the new Ridley Scott film without even having the courtesy or the good sense to come and meet me," Reggiani told Italian national news agency Ansa.

"I believe that any good actor should first get to know the person that they are meant to be playing," Reggiani said, adding, "I think it is not right that I wasn't contacted. And I say this with all the sympathy and appreciation that I have for her."

Gaga has defended her decision not to meet with Patrizia, claiming she did not want to be seem as legitimising her actions.

"I didn't want to meet her because I could tell very quickly that this woman wanted to be glorified for this murder," she told Good Morning America.

"And she wanted to be remembered as this criminal. I didn't want to collude with something I don't believe in. She did have her husband murdered."

Tom Ford described watching the film as like 'living through a hurricane'.

Designer Tom Ford was the creator director of Gucci in 1995, the year Maurizio was killed.

As such, his character appears briefly in House of Gucci, with the great American designer played by Reeve Carney.

In an essay for Air Mail, Ford shared his grievances with the film.

"The film is… well, I'm still not quite sure what it is exactly, but somehow I felt as though I had lived through a hurricane when I left the theatre. Was it a farce or a gripping tale of greed? I often laughed out loud, but was I supposed to?"

Image: Getty.


He praised Gaga's performance, but criticised Al Pacino and Jared Leto's 'caricatures'.

"At times, when Al Pacino, as Aldo Gucci, and Jared Leto, as Aldo’s son Paolo Gucci, were on-screen, I was not completely sure that I wasn't watching a Saturday Night Live version of the tale," Ford wrote.

"Paolo, whom I met on several occasions, was indeed eccentric and did some wacky things, but his overall demeanour was certainly not like the crazed and seemingly mentally challenged character of Leto's performance."

He also said the film was inaccurate in its portrayal of how Ford crossed paths with Maurizio.

"I was deeply sad for several days after watching House of Gucci, a reaction that I think only those of us who knew the players and the play will feel," he said.

"It was hard for me to see the humour and camp in something that was so bloody. In real life, none of it was camp. It was at times absurd, but ultimately it was tragic."

House of Gucci is in Australian cinemas on New Year's Day.

Image: Universal Pictures/Mamamia.

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