‘House of Gucci’s Jared Leto Explains How He Embodied His Character: “I Had Olive Oil for Blood”

The press tour for House of Gucci has, thus far, totally lived up to its deranged promise. Lady Gaga has waxed eloquent to everyone she can, seemingly, about how she and Patrizia Gucci, her character in the high-camp crime epic, are (literally!) the same person. Adam Driver has been a little more reserved, but even that stands out amid such a cacophony of madness. And yesterday, in an interview with the fashion magazine i-D, Jared Leto upped the ante one step further, with comments that might just cause all of the world’s Italian ancestors to roll in their graves.


First of all, he had this to say about capturing the legacy of the real-life Paolo Gucci, his character in the film:

“Bringing Paolo to life was like birthing a bowling ball out of my sphincter. I keep saying my butt was shaking like two little chicken bones on that set. It was a very physical performance. There’s something about corduroy, I think: when you put it on, it’s like you can catch fire.”


Adam Driver, Lady Gaga and Jared Leto in House of Gucci
Image via MGM

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That, of course, sounds incredibly painful, which is presumably the intention of such provocative hyperbole. Thank god he didn’t take his usual method work one step further in this case, otherwise, he might’ve been levied with one hell of a hospital bill. The same thing goes for self-immolation—definitely not something you want to put yourself through, cord or not. Leto also used some… questionable culinary analogies to emphasize the work he put into the role:

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“I did it all. I was snorting lines of arrabbiata sauce by the middle of this movie. I had olive oil for blood. This was a deep dive I did. If you took a biopsy of my skin, it would come back as parmesan cheese! This is my love letter to Italy. There was a lot of work and preparation, and yes, I had an Italian accent and I enjoyed and embraced that, and lived in that space as much as I could, and for as long as I possibly could. I climbed into that creative cave and came out through the bowels and intestines into the esophagus of the one and only Paolo Gucci.”

A couple of thoughts: first of all, has anyone actually tried snorting arrabbiata? How long might the human body actually subsist with olive oil running through its veins in lieu of, y’know, blood? Thirdly: why is Leto so apparently enamored with bowel-and-sphincter-related butt analogies? It’s great that he had such a great time putting together his, ahem, “love letter to Italy,” but we shall simply defer to the late, great Lawrence Olivier: “My dear boy, why don’t you just try acting?”


House of Gucci is now playing in theaters.


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