Ridley Scott is defending his House of Gucci movie after criticism came directly from the surviving Gucci family.
On Monday, the heirs of Aldo Gucci issued a statement slamming the new film's portrayal of their family.
"The production of the film did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci — president of the company for 30 years [played by Al Pacino in the film] — and the members of the Gucci family as thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them," they said in the statement, translated to English, according to Variety.
They added, "This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today."
Additionally, Aldo's granddaughter Patrizia Gucci criticized Pacino's casting and the film itself back in April, telling the Associated Press at the time: "We are truly disappointed, I speak on behalf of the family. They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system. ...Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed."
In an interview with Total Film published Tuesday, director Scott, 84, defended the movie and Pacino's performance. He explained that they tried to be "respectful" and "factual," and added that Patrizia's criticism of Pacino's appearance was "alarmingly insulting."
(Patrizia told the AP that Pacino appeared in on-set photos as "fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly" and not resembling her "very handsome" grandfather "at all.")
"The people that were writing from the family to us at the onset were alarmingly insulting, saying that Al Pacino did not represent physically Aldo Gucci in any shape or form," Scott told the outlet. "Frankly, how could they be better represented than by Al Pacino? Excuse me! You probably have the best actors in the world, you should be so f------ lucky."
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In their statement this week, the Guccis also said they took issue with Lady Gaga's portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of hiring a hitman to assassinate her ex-husband, Italian businessman Maurizio Gucci, played by Adam Driver. They said Gaga's depiction of a "victim trying to survive in a male and male chauvinist corporate culture" "couldn't be further from the truth."
"I have to say this, Ridley: There's not a lot of men that are directors who would empower a woman to be ugly on camera," Gaga said. "When I aged and had scenes where I was in this embarrassing, desperate state, he embraced the ugliness of this character and that should be commended, because it is ugly to be disposed of for your looks, it is ugly to be left for a younger woman."
She added, "So I appreciate that Ridley took something that was sort of a 'sexy murder' and he let it be ugly."
House of Gucci is now playing in theaters.