Gina Gershon: Donatella Versace Role in Lifetime Movie 'Compelling'

Image: Gina Gershon: Donatella Versace Role in Lifetime Movie 'Compelling'

Thursday, 03 Oct 2013 11:16 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Actress Gina Gershon said had reservations about playing fashion icon Donatella Versace in a Lifetime movie, but she gravitated toward the "compelling" role once she read the script.

Gershon, a "Rescue Me" and "How to Make it in American" veteran, told Katie Couric on her talk show she was worried about properly portraying the Italian fashion maven who bounced back from personal tragedy to lead her family's fashion house.

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"I think because I hadn't read it (the script) yet, and they said, 'Oh, you've been offered Donatella', and I was like, 'There's no way I'm touching that,'" Gershon told Couric on Monday. "I think, when we think of Donatella, you think, 'Oh, she's so flamboyant, she's a bit of a caricature,' but then I read the script and I just thought, it's really a family drama at the end of the day."

"I found it so compelling, her story, I almost wish it hadn't been her. I was like, 'I'll play this no matter what,' because I love the rise and fall and rise," Gershon added.

"House of Versace" will air on Lifetime at 8 p.m. EST on Saturday. The movie follows the success and struggles of the Versace family after lead designer and Donatella's brother Gianni Versace was murdered in 1997.

The movie is based on the book "House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival" by Deborah Ball. (

Gershon told Couric and that Gianni and Donatella were as much "soul mates" as brother and sister and his death profoundly affected her. Donatella Versace would go on to lead the company and helped it regain its stature in the fashion world.

Gershon said she was in awe acting next to legendary sex symbol Raquel Welch, 73, who plays Donatella's aunt in the movie.

"Raquel Welch is a total hottie," Gershon said to Couric. "She shows up and you just go 'wow.'"

Versace has made cameo appearances in movies such as "Zoolander" and "The Devil Wears Prada." She had two children, a boy and a girl, with ex-husband, American model Paul Beck.

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Related stories:

Gina Gershon: Donatella Versace Transformation for Lifetime Movie Shocks

Gianni Versace Mansion Where He Was Killed Sells for $41.5M

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