Despite reports, Lady Gaga will not be playing Donatella Versace in the upcoming third season of FX’s American Crime Story, which will explore the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace.
In fact, when asked by Variety, show creator Ryan Murphy said that casting Lady Gaga as Donatella was never even really a discussion.
Speaking to a small group of reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California, Murphy was asked if the superstar would be playing the fashion icon. He simply responded, “No.”
Asked if Lady Gaga was ever in talks to play Donatella, Murphy told Variety, “Not really. She’s a friend. But she’s very busy this next year – she’s doing Super Bowl and then she’s doing A Star Is Born and I believe that she’s going on tour. And when you’re going to do a show like Versace, it’s a five-month commitment, it’s a very big show, we’re shooting it all over the world. So I just don’t think with her schedule, I knew that it would never had worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future.”
Tabloid reports were published in November 2016 stating that Lady Gaga would be playing Donatella, though at the time, Variety sources said that casting was not true.
Lady Gaga, of course, has past ties to Murphy. She starred in American Horror Story: Hotel for which she won a Golden Globe award. She also had a smaller role in the most recent season of American Horror Story, Roanoke. The musician has recently turned to acting, which she says has always been her longtime passion. Up next, she is starring alongside Bradley Cooper in the remake of A Star Is Born, as Murphy mentioned.
As for the Versace murder that will be explored in American Crime Story S3, the fashion house founder, Gianni, was killed on the steps of his home in Miami Beach, Florida, by serial murderer Andrew Cunanan, who killed five people that year, and then killed himself on a house boat, eight days after killing Versace.
Donatella was Gianni’s sister. The season, titled Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story, will be based on the book Vulgar Favors by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth. Tom Rob Smith will write various episodes in the season and serve as executive producer with Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and Brad Falchuk. Fox 21 will produce.
The first season of American Crime Story explored the O.J. Simpson murder case, and the critically acclaimed season swept the Emmys, winning all the major awards in its category. S2 of the anthology series will focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
At the TCA press tour, FX CEO John Landgraf said that S2 and S3 will air about six months apart from each other, though the Versace installment will actually shoot first.
“We’ll have a long hiatus and then we’ll get back on cycle,” Landgraf said. “We just have really high ambitions. It’s not a lurid true crime series. It’s taken time. When you’re shooting in New Orleans, you have to worry about hurricanes. Versace will shoot first, Katrina will air second.” – Reuters/Elizabeth Wagmeister