How this writer found gold nuggets for the ‘Gucci’ story – Los Angeles Times

December 15, 2021 by No Comments

I remember watching an Italian news report when I was 12 and seeing Patrizia Reggiani in church, dressed in black, mourning the death of the man she had killed just a few days earlier. I grew up in Milan, Italy. My mother is a fashion designer. As a child, I would feed ducks with my father just three doors down from where Maurizio Gucci was murdered.

So when Ridley and Giannina Scott called me to discuss writing “The House of Gucci,” which they had tried to bring to the screen for almost two decades, I saw it as more than just a writing gig: I saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime. A perfect blend of my interests as a storyteller and a world I knew intimately.

The writing process began by reading Sara Gay Forden’s book, “The House of Gucci,” which is a wonderful biography of the family and the brand from its creation in 1921 to the present. I was lucky enough to speak Italian and accessed articles written about the Guccis in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. I found wonderful nuggets of gold throughout the articles. For example, that Paolo was president of the Pigeon Fancier’s Assn. or Aldo’s reputation for picking up young ladies shopping at his stores.

But as with any good adaptation, there came a point when I had to put the source material aside and make the story my own. This is a work of fiction, not a docudrama or a biography. And at the center of it is Patrizia. One of the most overused notes given to screenwriters is to make the protagonist “sympathetic.” And while I generally disagree with this, I felt Patrizia’s 30-year arc was so big, so broad, that she needed to start in a place of love for Maurizio for the love story to compellingly turn into one of sheer horror. After all, it would be far more relatable for audiences to deal with a tale of doomed love rather than focus on the gold-digging, cynical aspect of the character.

“Tone” is another interesting term that gets thrown around a lot. Ironically, the writer is perhaps the last person to be aware of tone as he or she is writing. Of course, some stories naturally fall into a certain genre, and there are conventions that might be followed within that framework. But with “House of Gucci,” I knew I had to have fun with the material. Much like a rich Italian meal, it was all about giving it as much color and exuberance as possible. The biggest pitfall would have been turning what is a melodramatic, operatic minestrone into something …….



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