Gina Gershon plays legendary fashion figure Donatella Versace in Lifetime’s House of Versace, premiering October 5.
According to a press release from the network, the TV movie — based on the book House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genuis, Murder, and Survival by Deborah Ball — will focus on the designer’s struggle to take over the family fashion empire after the 1997 murder of her brother Gianni.
This isn’t the first time Gershon has channeled the husky-voiced Donatella.
On the first season of Ugly Betty the actress played Fabia (see photo above), a fashionista whose thick accent, platinum blonde hair, and penchant for leopard print were obviously inspired by Versace. Luckily, the designer considers impersonation a form of flattery. During an appearance on The View in 2010, Versace said she thought Maya Rudolph’s portrayal of her in a series of Saturday Night Live parodies was “hilarious.” “I talked to her on the phone once, and I gave her a suggestion on how to do me better,” Versace said. What advice did she offer Rudolph? “Take off the jewelry because it looks too fake — I only wear real.”
Unlike those comedic parodies, House of Versace will recount some dark moments in Donatella Versace’s life, including her past drug addiction and how she fought to keep the Italian fashion label that bears her name from going bankrupt. Veronica Mars star Enrico Colantoni takes on the role of Gianni Versace, while Raquel Welch plays Donatella’s aunt Lucia.
Following the movie, Lifetime will air an hour-long documentary called Versace: Beyond the Headlines, which chronicles the life and untimely death of Versace founder Gianni Versace, who was shot and killed outside his Miami Beach mansion in 1997. The special will include interviews with police detectives and criminal experts who worked on the murder case.
Do you think Gershon will make a convincing Donatella Versace? Watch a clip of Gershon as the over-the-top Fabia on Ugly Betty in the video below.
House of Versace premieres October 5 on Lifetime.