The heirs of the Italian high fashion house Gucci have responded angrily to their family’s portrayal in Ridley Scott’s new biopic.
‘House of Gucci’, released in the UK last Friday (November 26), centres around the notorious relationship between Patrizia Reggiani, played by Lady Gaga, and Maurizio Gucci, portrayed by Adam Driver. The former was convicted of organising the 1995 assassination of the latter, and served 18 years in prison.
The film has been met with mixed reviews from critics, but the Gucci family have roundly criticised it in a letter published by the ANSA news agency in their native Italy. “The Gucci family reserve the right to take every initiative to protect their name and image, and those of their loved ones,” they stated, per the BBC.
Particular offence appears to have been caused by the portrayal of the family in general, with Al Pacino and Jared Leto appearing in supporting roles as former chairman Aldo Gucci and former chief designer Paolo Gucci, respectively.
The letter complains that ‘House of Gucci’ casts them as “thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them, attributing to the protagonists [and] events, a tone and an attitude that never belonged to them.”
“This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today,” the letter goes on. The depiction of Reggiani appears to have caused particular upset, on account of her being “portrayed not just in the film, but also in statements from cast members, as a victim trying to survive in a male and male chauvinist corporate culture”.
Reggiani has herself aired her displeasure with ‘House of Gucci’, after initially endorsing Gaga as the appropriate choice to play her. “I am rather annoyed at the fact that Lady Gaga is playing me in the new Ridley Scott film without having had the consideration and sensibility to come and meet me,” Reggiani said to ANSA.
Gaga, who claimed to have maintained an Italian accent for months as part of her method approach to the role, declined the opportunity to talk to Reggiani, telling British Vogue that “I only felt that I could truly 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.”
The Gucci family have had no connection with the fashion company since the 1990s; it is today owned by French luxury group Kering. ‘House of Gucci’ is currently atop the UK box office with a first-week gross of £2,425,627, but has divided opinion.