Ricky Martin on playing his first gay character in The Assassination of Gianni Versace
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It didn’t take much to convince Ricky Martin to be part of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. For starters, Martin, who appeared on Glee, wanted to work with Ryan Murphy again. But the pop superstar, who plays Gianni Versace’s longtime love Antonio D’Amico, also wanted this story to be brought to life.
“It’s a story that needs to be told,” says Martin. “We’re going to go mainstream with a story that talks about homophobia, that talks about hate, that talks about indifference. I feel humbled. It’s so raw and honest and so dramatic and sad. But at the same time you show the love of Gianni and Antonio and 15 years of struggling, fighting. It’s something that I really wanted to be loud about.”
The project marks several firsts for Martin, including his first role as a gay man since Martin himself came out in 2010. He admits that has given this project special significance. “It is special because I am speaking on behalf of a lot of people that can’t be heard,” says Martin. “There was a scene where Gianni is weak and almost falling on the beach and I touch him and he goes, ‘Don’t touch me! Paparazzi!’ You don’t understand. That took me back to eight years ago when I was in the closet and it just moved me.”
It’s also a role that requires Martin’s first on-screen sex scene which came rather naturally to the star. “I thought I was going to be more uncomfortable,” admits the singer. “The exhibitionism kicked in for a moment and all of a sudden I was naked in bed in front of 20 people from the crew and another actor I met that same day. I was not nervous at all. On the contrary, I was ready to do what needed to be done.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will air in 2018.