For the second installment of American Crime Story, the show will look at the assassination of Gianni Versace, the designer and founder of the Versace fashion company. The cast of the show is incredible and includes Penélope Cruz, Ricky Martin, and Darren Criss. But who plays Gianni Versace in The Assassination of Gianni Versace? Emmy nominated star Édgar Ramírez is tackling the iconic figure.
Ramírez is a Venezuelan actor who first got his big break in the soap opera series Cosita Rica in the early 2000s. In 2005, he got his first major role in the film Domino, starring alongside Kiera Knightly and Mickey Rourke, before appearing in a number of films like Elipsis, The Bourne Ultimatum, Cyrano Fernández, Vantage Point, and Che: Part One. Then in 2010, he played the Venezuelan revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez in the TV miniseries Carlos, which got him an Emmy nod and a Golden Globe nomination.
Following the success of that role, Ramírez turned back to film. Over the past few years he's had roles in Wrath of the Titans, Zero Dark Thirty, Joy, The Girl on the Train, and Point Break. Most recently you may have seen him in the new Netflix movie, Bright, which stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton.
Now Ramírez has returned to the small screen for an all-new FX miniseries and this one could very well earn him his second Emmy nomination, if not a win. Fans have been eagerly anticipating the release of American Crime Story's second installment, especially considering how well Season 1 did with The People v. O.J. Simpson. However, the show has come under heavy criticism by the Versace family.
The family first released an official statement on Jan. 8, calling the show "a work of fiction." FX and 20th Century Fox then proceeded to release a statement of their own, defending the series. The production company said that they based the series on Maureen Orth's book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, which they claimed was "heavily researched and authenticated," adding that "We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth."
However, the family then issued another statement on Jan. 10, standing by their claim that the book is a work of fiction, and that they have "neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series."
The statement also said that it was "sad and reprehensible that the producers have chosen to present the distorted and bogus version created by Maureen Orth." The family also made it clear they would no longer be commenting on the show.
Despite the backlash, executive producer Ryan Murphy continues to defend not only the show, but the reporting of Orth, who released the book almost 20 years ago, insisting that it is not a "work of fiction."
"I stand by the reporting of [Orth], our female reporter," he told E! News. "And to sort of impune her and say that what she dedicated a large portion of her life to, to say to a female journalist, 'You're a liar and what you're saying is not the truth,' I don't think that's cool."
Thus, unsurprisingly, the show will go on. You can see Ramírez as Versace, as well as the rest of this talented cast, when The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. EST on FX. And then you can decide for yourself if the show does Versace's history justice or not.
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