House of Gucci went through several writers before the project found one who could do justice to the surreally messy story of the feuding Guccis. Married producers Ridley Scott and Giannina Facio finally found the right writer for the job in Roberto Bentivegna, who said the key to cracking the story was not approaching it too seriously.
“I think the key for me was to make it very ironic. And to and to really not take the characters too seriously, not take the story too seriously. I’m not a particularly kind of dramatic kind of person,” Bentivegna says on the latest MovieMaker podcast, which you can check out on Apple or Spotify or above.
“I’m attracted to stories that have a kind of a self-awareness or kind of an ironic twist. And so, for me, this was a huge a huge opportunity to do that. And, you know, to tell a very, very colorful story, very operatic story in a way that, that would be fun, and almost like a parody or us or a satire. So that was a huge, that was a huge Eureka moment.”
House of Gucci tells the story of the family feud between two pairs of fathers and sons: Aldo and Paolo Gucci, played by Al Pacino and Jared Leto, and Rodolfo and Maurizio Gucci, played by Jeremy Irons and Adam Driver. The drama is set off when Maurizio falls for the beguiling but scheming Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga).
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Everything about the film is big — exactly as the filmmakers wanted it to be. Bentivegna was disappointed in one review saying the film is “unintentionally funny” at times by a critic who didn’t get the film.
“Obviously, it’s got very dramatic bits in it. But it was always it was always going to be funny. There was always going to be a thread running through it of grotesque comedy, because they are grotesque characters,” he says. “I read a review that said, ‘an unintentional comedy,’ and I was like, ‘No. First of all, how do you know it’s unintentional? It’s very, it’s very intentional.”
Still, he says, audiences seem to understand the film.
“We went to a couple of screenings, and people were laughing their asses off, and I was so thrilled,” he says.
We also talk in the podcast about how Bentivegna’s background in London and Milan shaped House of Gucci, writing an extra scene for Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons, and a decision that Jared Leto came up with on set, among other topics. And we talk about the darlings he killed for the sake of the greater story.
House of Gucci is now in theaters.
Main image: Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani and Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures. Photo credit: Fabio Lovino.