Penélope Cruz Is Playing This Famous Fashion Designer

by Mary Grace Garis
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While we're still eagerly watching next year's Katrina: American Crime Story cast to build, the third chapter in the ACS anthology is starting to name names... and this is a big one. Versace: American Crime Story just cast Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versac. And yes, although the series is slated to focus on the 1997 murder of famed fashion designer and Donatella's brother Gianni Versace (played by Edgar Ramirez), you could debate that Cruz might be playing the more important role with that surname. The Oscar-winning Hollywood A-lister is an awesome choice for this role.

In terms of talent it seems like a solid pick, but it may be a bit out of field for those keeping up with Ryan Murphy's many different shows. Initial speculation pointed to Lady Gaga to taking the Versace role. She does have the bleached hair, tan skin, fashion prowess, and Murphy connection that would make her a front runner, and even a few false reports leaked that she'd be playing the role. However, according to TVLine, Murphy announced at the Television Critics Association that this was patently untrue:

"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."
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However, Gaga's busy schedule is Cruz's big win, and an exciting injection of fresh blood to these shows. Though it definitely adds a touch of familiarity to see old faces worked into new characters in these Murphy projects—it'll be amusing to watch Glee's Darren Criss morph into Versace's killer Andrew Cunanan—it also gets sort of tired. Here we have something, someone different, and with an Oscar-winning actress at the helm of a juicy, style-soaked real-life murder caper, it feels as though we can't really go wrong.

I'm sure more big names will be added to theVersace list, but it'll be a long time until the story hits our screens; Katrina won't be out until 2018, with Versace to be released approximately six months after. Still, I'm excited to hear about this addition, and to see how Cruz takes on the style icon.