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The House of Versace Costumes Would Make Gianni Turn in His Grave, Says Gina Gershon

Veteran Hollywood actress Gina Gershon—famous for her roles in Showgirls and Face/Off—doesn’t have omnipresent bodyguards or handlers or an assistant tagging along. She rides solo—flying under-the-radar, totally incognito.
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When you were trying to get down her quirks and speech, what was the process like? You have her speaking I can hear it. You feel a responsibility to go for her voice. If I had it my way I'd have subtitles so you don't understand what she's saying at all. She mumbles a lot which is really charming and funny and, of course, on TV, they're like "No, we have to understand you." I'm like can't we have subtitles? They definitely didn't go for that. I tried. You just listen to it. I had to smoke so many cigarettes to get to it to get my voice so low. I'm on the set, almost every set I was smoking. I ended up smoking real cigarettes because the fake ones hurt my lungs. They're herbal-y and oily; I couldn't stand the taste of it.

So how many cigarettes did you smoke in a day? I'm one of those annoying smokers. If I have a break I'll get sick. When I write I'll roll my own. If you're a real smoker, you'll roll your own because all the bad stuff like the ammonia is in the filter.

When did you get the script? It was a couple months ago. I didn't find out about it maybe before three weeks beforehand. Three weeks to try to lose 10 pounds. My first reaction was like, there's no way I'm doing this. I can't touch this. Because someone like Donatella are going to be very opinionated. Everyone's going to have an opinion. People are going to say this isn't gonna work, that isn't going to work. Pamela Skaist-Levy from Skaist Taylor I remember telling her. I was like, "I'm not going to do this." She was like, "no, no, no this is genius, you have to do it!" So really I did it because Pam told me to.

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Talk to me about the fashion on set, the costumes, was it actually Versace? The Versace people were not being very helpful. I found a couple of really good vintage pieces myself. The Gianni stuff. And then the costume designer you know, tried, to emulate some things. The reason why it's Versace is because of the insane cut. I was like, no, well, this shouldn't have a corset, or this or that. I was like, don't shoot this dress too long. That was me being the protective person coming out. Like, Gianni would turn in his grave if he saw these. It wasn't oddly about the clothes.

Tell me about your own fashion sense. I tend to wear a lot of people I know. Tom Ford is someone I've loved forever and he's a friend. I wear Skaist Taylor because I love Pam we've been friends forever. If I like the people and hang out with them I want to wear them.

So is it also going back and forth with your stylist? I never use a stylist. I've used one once and it was such a waste of time and money. It was for a premiere. She came back with all of these cookie-cutter actress outfits and I felt like she just did not get it. You pay them so much money and I was looking at all of the clothes and I was like I will not wear any of this stuff. It ended up being a very expensive assistant.

Are you sick of being known for Showgirls? Not sick of it but it's been shot how many years ago? You know I'm glad that it affected people in a way, I just don't know what else I can say about it. It's been lifetimes ago. It was the first big movie that I was in and it opened the door for many other things.

That movie plays on television all the time, do you catch yourself watching it? I actually watched it the other day and I hate watching it. I want to go in and fix things like, the accent was so off. The director wouldn't let me use an accent but I was like, she's from the south, Texas, she has an accent. He didn't let me use an accent and some parts I was like, look, the accent was off, can we do this again? He was like no, we're moving on to the next thing. When I watch myself I just wanna change things. With House of Versace, I'm sure I'll be like, ugh, I want to change this or that.

Photo: Getty