Ryan Murphy Talks New Show With Ricky Martin, and Why He Can't Care Too Much What Donatella Thinks

Inside details on the finale of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

By Kristin Dos Santos Mar 21, 2018 2:00 PMTags
Watch: Ricky Martin & Darren Criss Discuss Homophobia in "Versace"

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story comes to a chilling conclusion tonight on FX, and spoiler alert: Ricky Martin's heartbreaking performance as Gianni Versace's lover Antonio D'Amico may leave you in pieces.

"I want to give Ricky [Martin] his own show," executive producer Ryan Murphy tells E! News. "He and I have been talking about that, so we are working on that. I feel the same way about Ricky as I did Sarah Paulson when I gave her Marcia Clark—which is, I knew Sarah was capable of anything. Ricky is, too. I knew that, given the opportunity, he could really surprise people."

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: How the Cast Compares to Their Real-Life Counterparts

With Murphy's massive new deal with Netflix, while maintaining his commitments to FX and Fox, it seems a safe bet he can find more work for Ricky.

And Ricky isn't the only stand-out in tonight's final episode, which shows the manhunt following Versace's death for spree-killer Andrew Cunanan. In an exclusive chat with E! News, Murphy reveals how he knew Darren Criss, as Cunanan, could take the show to the depths it needed, his thoughts on the man behind the monster, Andrew's father, Modesto "Pete" Cunanan, and why he can't concern himself too much with what Donatella might think.


There was some skepticism when Darren Criss was cast as Cunanan that he could pull it off, and the finale feels like his most challenging work yet. Did you initially have any doubts?

I did not. It's something Darren and I have been talking about for a long time and I was never going to make this show unless he did it. The stars aligned and I was proud of him. He showed up every day very prepared. He worked longer and harder than anybody. He sensed this could be really the role of a lifetime because they don't write roles like this for young actors. This part is Shakespearean. It's the most difficult, multi-faceted role of the year. It's essentially nine hours of somebody having a nervous breakdown. He went for it. I knew he would.

The final two episodes shed a lot of light on Andrew Cunanan's relationship with his father. Do you feel like his dad was the real monster behind this tragedy?
In no way did I want to glamorize what Andrew Cunanan did, because what he did was monstrous and horrific and took the lives of five people. I was interested in showing the trail of destruction that he left but also interested in… nobody is born a monster. Nobody is born a psychopath or sociopath and I thought, unlike OJ Simpson, where we never really went into OJ's backstory or childhood in that way, here was an opportunity that we could.

And I thought that Andrew's father being a Filipino man and chasing the American dream and having to win at all costs – were things that he passed down to his son. And I think the physical abuse, the sexual abuse, that Andrew witnessed his father hitting his mother repeatedly, the violence that he grew up with, he became desensitized to it and that was all in the water and part of the reason why he was able to kill so easily and with very little remorse.


What is known about whether Andrew was physically or sexually abused by his father? The show strongly infers it, but doesn't actually go there.
It's hard because it's hard to substantiate that. We had people discussing his childhood, who claimed in Maureen Orth's book that, look, any boy that's given the master bedroom…you have have to question what those motivations are about. But obviously, we had a point of view, and Maureen Orth had a point of view, and eye witnesses and people who knew Andrew. But everybody was a victim in it. It's such a dark, American story about identity and the quest for fame and all of that stuff, which are issues that I've always been interested in.

Have you heard anything from the Versace family in recent weeks? Do you know if their stance on the authenticity of the series has softened at all after seeing it?
I don't know. I don't know if they've watched it. I don't know if they've softened. I think that Donatella is really connected in the world of celebrity, and everyone has remarked that the portrayal of Donatella and Gianni are beautiful. And you know, I think Penelope [Cruz] and Edgar [Ramirez] did an amazing job.

But I also think what [Donatella] did to Antonio was really sh--ty, and so, I really don't care what she thinks, other than we were really truthful to Maureen's book and we did our own reporting. But I also really admire [Donatella], because I think what she did was impossible. Her brother was gunned down, he was the love of her life, other than her children, and he was taken from her. And she was faced with an insurmountable position and she kept that business going in the face of great odds and she really accomplished something. And I think that Penelope portrayed her as such. I don't know. I can never think about that because that would cloud how we created the work and I was just trying to find the truth.

Spoiler alert, and it's a small thing, but … Did Darren Criss really eat dog food for the scene in tonight's finale?
Andrew Cunanan definitely ate dog food. Darren did not eat dog food, although I don't know what that stuff was, but whenever I would watch the edits, it would make me gag. It was wet and moldy. I wouldn't recommend it.

The finale of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs tonight, 10 p.m. on FX.

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