Fans of The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story can attest to the fact that Sarah Paulson's portrayal of Marcia Clark basically stole the show. While Paulson isn't set to appear in Ryan Murphy's follow-up, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the producer insists that Penelope Cruz's Donatella Versace is set to fill the Paulson-shaped hole in viewers' hearts.
"Penelope's portrayal is very real and human," Murphy told Entertainment Weekly. "I think Penelope is to Donatella what Sarah [Paulson] is to Marcia [Clark]. I think people have marginalized and under-appreciated Donatella. I thought the interesting parallel is that Marcia Clark was an advocate for Ron [Goldman] and Nicole [Simpson]. I think Donatella was an advocate for Versace and his legacy and his heart."
While Paulson's shoes are going to be tough to fill, a character like Donatella, with her shock of platinum hair, larger-than-life personality, and penchant for over-the-top ensembles, is sure to give Cruz plenty to work with. But it seems that Murphy is setting up the series to center around Donatella the way a few episodes of the O.J. Simpson series focused on Marcia Clark. The actor and the real-life Clark even attended the Emmys together, which parallels Cruz' own relationship with the real-life Donatella Versace. In an interview with EW, Cruz said that she approached the role with a little bit of hesitation since she knows Donatella personally.
"I did have one conversation that was between she and I. I don't want to say the details, but it was a long conversation," Cruz told EW. "That was very important to me. I think she knows that the way I’m playing her, that I truly love her and respect her."
Could this mean a Donatella appearance at next year's Emmy ceremony? Fashion fans and true crime die-hards should keep their fingers crossed for an incredible red carpet moment if the series captures the critical acclaim of its predecessor.
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