House of Gucci began filming in Italy last month and it didn’t take long for paparazzi and Hollywood aficionados to notice. Photos of the cast shooting scenes, and especially of the film’s stars Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, have been circulating on the web and on the movie’s own Instagram account.
For those unfamiliar, House of Gucci is a biographical crime film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamor, and Greed" by Sara Gay Forden, itself based on a true story.
On March 27, 1995, a killer shot Maurizio Gucci, former chief of the world-famous fashion house, four times as he entered the building where he worked in via Palestro in Milan. Three years later, his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani was convicted of arranging the killing, having hired a hitman and several intermediaries.
Nicknamed by Italian media ‘the black widow,’ Reggiani had been eager for revenge after her husband had betrayed and left her for another woman, Paola Franchi, about 10 years earlier. Reggiani was sentenced to 26 years in prison, but was released for good behavior in 2016 after serving 18 years.
Gucci’s killing was one of those murder cases that had international resonance. Thus, the story has become a film that unfolds throughout Italy, a story of greed and glamour, related to the dynasty of designers of the famous Italian fashion house.
The narrative focus revolves around Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, who interpret Maurizio Gucci, president of the group and the grandson of Guccio Gucci, the founder of Gucci, and Patrizia Reggiani, his wife, who came from a working-class background and became a major socialite in the 1980s.
Filming has been taking place in various locations across Italy. Let’s take a look.
The first filming location was the mountain resort of Gressoney Saint Jean, at the foot of Monte Rosa in the northern region of Valle d'Aosta. Gressoney Saint Jean is replacing St. Moritz in the film, where the couple had four chalets. All the hotels in Gressoney-Saint-Jean were used to house the approximately 250 actors and production crews, while residents were called in to help prepare the sets.
Milan can be considered the heart of the film, as this is where the headquarters of the company were and where the murder took place. It’s also where Gucci and Reggiani got married in real life, although that scene is shot in Rome (see below). Scenes were shot in the fashion district (Quadrilatero della Moda), in Piazza Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza della Scala, near the main railway station, and in the historic Cortina bookshop, among others. Some scenes were also shot at the Il Salumaio restaurant, in the courtyard of Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi.
Around mid-March, filming moved to Villa Balbiano on Lake Como. Villa Balbiano is a historic palace that once belonged to the Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio, who built it at the end of the 16th century as his private residence. Today, Villa Balbiano is the largest private residence on Lake Como with an outdoor swimming pool and private dock. Villa Balbiano has six luxurious suites in the main building, each individually designed by the famous interior decorator Jacques Garcia. The daily rate for an event starts from 20,000 euros per day.
While filming, the cast stayed at the exclusive Villa d’Este in Cernobbio.
The wedding scene has been filmed in the Italian capital, precisely in the Jewish ghetto, at the church of Santa Maria in Campitelli.
Lady Gaga, wearing a red dress and a fur, and Al Pacino, in a beige suit and waistcoat, were also spotted in the central via Condotti, attracting a crowd of curious passers-by.
For her stay in Rome, the pop star is said to have chosen the Hotel Baglioni.
The film has a truly stellar cast, including Al Pacino in the role of Aldo Gucci, Maurizio's uncle fired from the company and convicted for tax evasion; Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, Maurizio's cousin who died a few months after his murder; Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci, Maurizio's father, who had opposed the marriage with Reggiani; Camille Cottin as Paola Franchi, the woman for whom Maurizio left his wife, with whom he had two daughters, after 12 years of marriage.
Reggiani has said she was disappointed that Lady Gaga did not want to meet her in person to best interpret her role. Who knows, maybe she wanted to tell her how to best play her iconic phrase: "It is better to cry in your Rolls-Royce than to be happy on your bicycle.”