Penelope Cruz Shares How She Relates Most to Donatella Versace and Her Family

Penelope Cruz Town & Country
Tom Munro/Town & Country

The actress portrays the fashion designer in the FX mini-series 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.'

Penelope Cruz is proud to portray Donatella Versace on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

The 43-year-old actress covers the March issue of Town & Country magazine with Edgar Ramirez, who portrays the slain Gianni Versace in the mini-series, and the two share what taking on these real-life roles means to them. 

"To me, she [Donatella Versace] is like a heroine," Cruz says of the 62-year-old fashion designer who took over Versace after her brother was murdered outside his Miami home in 1997. "She has demonstrated in so many ways in her life how to be an incredible woman."

Ramirez also has a lot of admiration for Gianni, telling the publication, "He was a visionary and a disruptor, and we’re experiencing an era that he helped create aesthetically. There were no designers expressing that rock ‘n’ roll approach to couture before Gianni -- this mix of sexuality and celebrity. The current obsession with fame started with Gianni."

Tom Munro/Town & Country

Cruz notes that her personal upbringing has resulted in her feeling very connected to Donatella and her siblings. "I could relate to that family emotion. Italian and Spanish people are very similar in that way," she explains. "It’s like what I have with my brother and sister. Donatella, Santo, Gianni, what they had together they started together, and that family passion is very tight."

Tom Munro/Town & Country

While Cruz and Ramirez are opening up about what it's like to play members of the Versace family, Donatella gives Vogue an inside look into her actual life.

Participating in the fashion magazine's "73 Questions" segment, the Italian fashionista seems quite personable and up for answering just about anything.

When asked what her reaction was to hearing Lady Gaga's "Donatella" song, she exclaims, "I say, 'Wow! Finally!"

Donatella also confirms that she knows all the words to Bruno Mars' ballad, "Versace on the Floor," and says she fully supports Migos' lyric, "Versace the top of my Audi."

When it comes to her tastes in movies and TV, Donatella is also up with the times, noting that her favorite film is The Shape of Water and that she's binge watching Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

As for what she thinks of American Crime Story, Donatella has not personally spoken about the FX show, but the Versace family has expressed their disapproval of the mini-series, telling ET in a statement that it's a "work of fiction."

ET got the ACS cast's reaction to not having the family's blessing: