‘House of Gucci’ writer Roberto Bentivegna on turning Lady Gaga into ‘Lady Macbeth’ for his ‘fashion gangster film’

For screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna, “House of Gucci” was “the perfect marriage of personal experience and something that has been sort of in the public eye for many years.” He grew up in Milan, and his mother was a fashion designer. Not only that, “I used to play two doors down from where Mauricio Gucci was murdered. So I knew the story just by osmosis.” Bentivegna joined us for our “Meet the Experts” Film Writers Panel. Watch our exclusive video interview with him above.

Bentivegna’s script for “Gucci,” which is directed by Ridley Scott, is based on the nonfiction book by Sara Gay Forden and tells the true story of the events leading up to Mauricio Gucci’s death in 1995. “I really wanted it to be almost like a fashion noir or like a fashion gangster film,” he says. “I feel like the world of fashion has not really been explored in film very successfully … so this was an opportunity to do the world of fashion justice.”

The film spans decades of corporate and familial intrigue behind the scenes at the iconic fashion house, so Bentivegna primarily focused the story around the point of view of Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga), who married Mauricio (played by Adam Driver), eventually divorced him, and was ultimately convicted of his murder. The writer compares Patrizia to characters like Norma Desmond and Lady Macbeth: “Patrizia is such a filmic character in real life. She’s so cinematic that it felt like a very natural kind of progression to take the events and dramatize them.”

So for the purposes of the story, Patrizia was “the architect of the drama that happens within the family. And some of that was factual and a lot of that was dramatic license, but it was very important to have a through line.” And telling the story around her rise and fall makes it “almost like a Shakespearean tragedy”; when it comes to her unchecked ambition, “be careful what you wish for.”

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