Just days away from the premiere of FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, the cast is revealing new behind-the-scenes details of the highly anticipated miniseries.
Penélope Cruz, who will play Versace’s sister Donatella, admits that although the famous fashion designer’s family is not on board with the project, she made sure to be on good terms with Gianni’s sibling before portraying her on-screen. “When [ACS creator] Ryan [Murphy] told me, I said to him, ‘This sounds really interesting, but I have to make this call and I have to talk to Donatella,’” she told Entertainment Tonight ahead of presenting with her costars at 2018 Golden Globes. “I called her and we spoke, like, for an hour. I needed that conversation to say yes.”
The discussion went well for the actress, who also received flowers from Donatella. “It was a conversation where, I cannot share everything we talked about, but we have a good relationship,” she revealed. “She’s such a loving person, so I wanted to put out there the love and respect I have for her. It’s in my performance for sure, and I hope that when she sees, she will be happy about it.”
Cruz and Donatella might have built a friendship but the fashion brand isn’t giving their seal of approval, denouncing the FX adaptation. “The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” the label said in a statement to PEOPLE. “Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay, this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction.”
The Spanish actress wasn’t the only cast member to check in with the real-life person whose ACS “character” they were set to play. In September, Ricky Martin, who will play Antonio D’Amico — the former lover of Gianni Versace — revealed that he spoke with D’Amico in an attempt to quell his concerns. D’Amico was not thrilled with the behind-the-scenes photos he’d seen, calling them “ridiculous.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Jan. 17 on FX.