HCAU Reviews: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

HCAU Reviews: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

Gianni Versace, world-renowned fashion designer and founder of fashion brand Versace was at the height of his career when he was found shot dead outside his mansion in South Beach, Miami. His sister, Donatella Versace, recalls that "Gianni opened couture to a much wider world. And we both had such fun doing that! He made couture sexy. He was not a quiet designer." Everyone in the fashion world remembers exactly where they were when Gianni was killed by the deranged killer Andrew Cunanan.

The title of the drama, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, is perhaps a little misleading. Although early in the first episode it is obvious Andrew Cunanan killed Gianni, the rest of the series (so far) focusses on Cunanan’s previous killings. Cunanan is presented as manipulative, a compulsive liar and unpredictable. We learn that Cunanan is wanted for the murder of four other men and is obsessed with Gianni Versace.

Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan

The series may be considered a bit slow at the beginning but becomes more gripping as the plot progresses. The cast contains some big names, with Penelope Cruz playing Donatella Versace, Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace and Ricky Martin as Antonio D’Amico, Gianni’s long-term boyfriend. At the time of writing, 5 of the 9 episodes have been aired in the UK. It is also interesting to compare the drama with a fact checker, as some of the most chilling details are accurate.

Left: Penlope Cruz as Donatella, Middle: Gianni and Donatella pictured in 1990, Right: Edgar Ramirez as Gianni.


It is also worth mentioning that the Versace family, quoted in Vanity Fair, consider the series to be ‘a work of fiction’ and Antonio D’Amico has also expressed his doubts about the way he was portrayed.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs on BBC2 on Wednesdays at 9pm.

HCAU Rating: 4/5

Images: The Italian Touch, Digital Spy and Vanity Fair