The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Entertainment Weekly

Unlike some of the cast in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Penélope Cruz had a long and direct conversation with Donatella Versace before taking on playing her in FX's upcoming series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

"I did have one conversation that was between she and I," Cruz told Entertainment Weekly in the new cover story about the series. "I don't want to say the details, but it was a long conversation."

The Oscar winner, who has a history with the Versace fashion house, spoke to Donatella before officially signing on for the series. "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."

Donatella wanted one thing changed, according to executive producer Ryan Murphy. "She didn't want her children to be characters in the show or exploited, and I understood that, so we removed that element," he said. "Penélope's portrayal is very real and human. I think Penélope is to Donatella what Sarah [Paulson] is to Marcia Clark."

Like Cruz, Paulson had extensive conversations with Clark and the two have become friends after Paulson played Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson. Paulson took home an Emmy for her work in the miniseries.

The cast of the second season of American Crime Story also includes Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace, Ricky Martin as Versace's boyfriend, Antonio D'Amico and Glee's Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who murdered Gianni Versace in Miami in 1997.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story was originally supposed to be the third season in FX's American Crime Story, but it was swapped with Katrina, which stars Dennis Quaid, Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick. A fourth season about the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky sex scandal is also in the works already.

The new issue of EW is on stands this Friday.

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