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Lady Gaga Will Not Play Donatella Versace in FX’s ‘American Crime Story’

Variety logo Variety 1/12/2017 Elizabeth Wagmeister
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Despite reports, Lady Gaga will not be playing Donatella Versace in the upcoming third season of FX’s “American Crime Story,” which will explore the 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace.

In fact, when asked by Variety on Thursday, show creator Ryan Murphy said that casting Gaga as Donatella was never even in talks.

Speaking to a small group of reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., Murphy was asked if the superstar would be playing the fashion icon, He simply responded, “No.”

Asked if the casting scenario was ever a discussion with Gaga, Murphy told Variety, “Not really. She’s a friend. But she’s very busy this next year — she’s doing Super Bowl and then she’s doing ‘A Star Is Born’ and I believe that she’s going on tour. And when you’re going to do a show like Versace, it’s a five-month commitment, it’s a very big show, we’re shooting it all over the world. So I just don’t think with her schedule, I knew that it would never had worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future.”

Tabloid reports were published in November 2016 stating that Gaga would be playing Donatella, though at the time, Variety sources said that casting was not true.

Gaga, of course, has past ties to Murphy. She starred in “American Horror Story: Hotel” for which she won a Golden Globe.

The musician has recently turned to acting, which she says has always been her longtime passion. Up next, she is starring alongside Bradley Cooper in the remake of “A Star Is Born,” as Murphy mentioned in our interview today.

As for the Versace murder that will be explored in “American Crime Story” Season 3, the fashion house founder, Gianni, was killed on the steps of his home in Miami Beach by serial murderer Andrew Cunanan, who killed five people that year, and then killed himself on a house boat, eight days after killing Versace. Donatella was Gianni’s sister.

The Versace murder centric third season of “American Crime Story” — titled “Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story” — will be based on the book “Vulgar Favors” by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth. Tom Rob Smith will write various episodes in the season and serve as executive producer with Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and Brad Falchuk. Fox 21 will produce.

The first season of “American Crime Story” explored the O.J. Simpson murder case, and the critically acclaimed season swept the Emmys, winning all the major awards in its category. Season 2 of the anthology series will focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and is set to debut in 2017.

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