Gina Gershon transformed herself into Donatella Versace to play the lead role in Lifetime's original movie House of Versace, which debuts Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. EDT. The actress visited POPSUGAR Live! in NYC to discuss how she actually studied Donatella's speech and mannerisms ahead of filming. Plus, Gina shared her most memorable real-life Versace memory — and it does not have a happy ending!
In a statement to WWD, the Italian fashion brand said it it had "neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV movie about Mrs. Versace. Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is based, the movie should only be seen as a work of fiction."
The film, which stars Gina Gershon and will premiere Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. EDT, is based on Deborah Ball's 2010 book House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival. Despite the statement, Donatella and her brother Santo Versace were interviewed for the book, part of which chronicles Donatella becoming the house's creative director after the death of her brother Gianni.
Just last week, Gershon told POPSUGAR that she hoped the movie would meet Versace's approval.
"I think Donatella — if it were a life story done about her, she'd want it to be a $90 zillion big feature film, which I totally understand, you know. Who wouldn't?" Gershon said in an interview with entertainment reporter Allie Merriam. "I don't know if they actually gave their blessings for this, but hopefully they'll be OK with it."
It'll be a few weeks before House of Versace, Lifetime's much-talked-about Donatella Versace biopic, makes its debut. Luckily, we now have the trailer to tide us over.
In the trailer — which is set to Kanye West's song "I Am a God" — Gina Gershon makes a convincing facsimile of Versace, and Enrico Colantoni is the spitting image of her late brother, Gianni. But Gershon also nails the designer's accent and owns her fierce presence and attitude. In an extended version of the trailer, Gershon's Donatella tells two women she catches ogling her dress, "It's Versace, ladies. Why don't you go by the store? Your husbands will be happy."
The movie debuts on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. EDT. Until then, take a look at the minute-long trailer here.
Deborah Ball's House of Versace Recounts Tales of Drug Addiction, Heavy Spending, and Even a Little Megalomania
>> Yesterday, Deborah Ball, Milan correspondent for the Wall Street Journal since 1997, published House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival, after conducting 220 interviews with the likes of Donatella Versace, her brother Santo Versace, Gianni Versace's partner Antonio D'Amico, Anna Wintour, Joe McKenna, Brana Wolf, and Francois Nars. In fact, the only person to decline Ball an interview was Allegra Beck Versace, who has never had a predilection for talking to press. House of Versace is the first book to chronicle the ups and downs of the Versace family in English, and it's also the first book written for which the Versaces granted help.
Ball touches on Donatella's long battle with drug addiction, the Versaces' heavy spending habits, Allegra's anorexia, why Gianni left his 50 percent stake in the company to Allegra, and more.