Even if you never knew much about legendary fashion designer Gianni Versace before American Crime Story dedicated its second season to the story of his death, there’s no denying that the man lived a very lavish lifestyle. His memorable Miami Beach mansion expresses that clearly, both on and off the show. But the intricate designs of the set may have fans wondering, where was The Assassination of Gianni Versace filmed? The miniseries pays homage to the fallen designer in a way that adds a bit of credibility to the season — which is based on Maureen Orth’s best-selling book Vulgar Favors — by filming at the original Versace mansion.
According to TMZ, the show filmed in the mansion for almost the entire month of May in 2017. But, because it’s now a high-end hotel called The Villa Casa Casuarina, with the 10 guestrooms each being close to $1,000 per night during the off-season, FX reportedly had to drop at least $100,000 for the ability to exclusively film inside the former home of Versace.
While his personal belongings have been long gone and the house itself has been sold to more than one bidder over the years, the mansion does still boast the same ornate walls, ceilings, and fixtures, as well as the glamorous indoor courtyard and outdoor pool with 24 karat gold tiles. So yeah, it was worth every penny.
But aside from using the original mansion where Versace was shot and killed in 1997, The Assassination of Gianni Versace was filmed in other various locations around Miami Beach as well. Filming also took place on the actual beach, outside of the Ocean Surf Hotel, and along several blocks of the city. Clearly, the goal was to recreate the story of Versace’s death and that of his killer, Andrew Cunanan, as accurately as possible.
However, despite the show’s best efforts to follow the book that was the inspiration for the miniseries this season, the Versace family released a statement to Entertainment Weekly that said the family "neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace" and that viewers should consider the TV show to be "a work of fiction."
FX then released a statement of their own, adding that in support of Orth’s true-crime book, Vulgar Favors, "We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth." The Versace family recently released a second statement to reiterate the sentiments of their first and said that "the company producing the series claims it is relying on a book by Maureen Orth, but the Orth book itself is full of gossip and speculation."
The Assassination of Gianni Versace filmed not only at the designer’s mansion and around the home, but also near the actual spots where he frequented around town, like the News Café, where he reportedly stopped the morning of his murder to buy his newspaper. The miniseries was almost filmed at the real life Normandy Plaza Hotel, where Cunanan was believed to have stayed in the nights leading up to the crime. Viewers can also expect to see the actual exterior of the Miami Beach Police Department.
Since FX set up shop at the original Versace mansion, though, it would make sense to have filmed all around the city at the actual spots that are reported to have been part of the crime. Despite what the show gets right and what’s embellished on or filled in for dramatized purposes, it would seem that, at the very least, the setting and scenes were meticulously chosen for the miniseries this season.
Check out Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Watch full episodes of Romper's Doula Diaries on Facebook Watch.