House of Gucci may follow the story of Patrizia Reggiani—but for Lady Gaga, stepping into the role meant understanding the tale on her own terms.
Ahead of the much-awaited film's release, the Academy Award winner revealed why she didn't want to meet with the movie's real-life inspiration, Patrizia, who served nearly two decades in prison for hiring a hit man to murder her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci.
"I didn't want to meet her because I could tell very quickly that this woman wanted to be glorified for this murder," she said during her Nov. 16 appearance on Good Morning America. "And she wanted to be remembered as this criminal."
Patrizia and Maurizio married in 1972 and subsequently divorced in 1994. The following year, in March 1995, Maurizio was shot and killed by a hitman outside of his office. In 1997, Patrizia was sentenced to 29 years in prison for her involvement in the crime.
"I didn't want to collude with something I don't believe in," Lady Gaga continued. "She did have her husband murdered."
The actress' recent comments on her decision not to meet with the Italian socialite echo what she told British Vogue earlier this month. In March, Patrizia said that she was "quite annoyed by the fact that Lady Gaga is playing me in the new Ridley Scott film without even having the foresight and sensitivity to come and meet me."
In response, Gaga told British Vogue, "I only felt that I could truly do this story justice if I approached it with the eye of a curious woman who was interested in possessing a journalistic spirit so that I could read between the lines of what was happening in the film's scenes. Meaning that nobody was going to tell me who Patrizia Gucci was. Not even Patrizia Gucci."
Having become "fascinated with the journey of this woman," the singer told the publication that she spent more than a year pouring over newspaper clippings and recordings of Patrizia. However, she was careful to avoid certain resources, including the book on which the film was based. "I did not want anything," Gaga said, "that had an opinion that would color my thinking in any way."
After immersing herself in the life of this character—including speaking in her accent at all times for nine months—Gaga hopes Patrizia's story will serve as a cautionary tale.
"I wish not to glorify somebody that would commit murder," she told the magazine. "But I do wish to pay respect to women throughout history who became experts at survival, and to the unfortunate consequences of hurt. I hope that women will watch this and remind themselves to think twice about the fact that hurt people hurt people. And it's dangerous. What happens to somebody when they're pushed over the edge?"