Penelope Cruz For ‘American Crime Story’: Why She’ll Rock As Donatella Versace

American Crime Story has finally found the actress who will play Donatella Versace in the upcoming Season 3. And it’s not Lady Gaga as previously rumored.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz has been signed on to play the role of Gianni Versace’s sister on Ryan Murphy’s true crime anthology TV series, Variety reported. Aside from Penelope, actors confirmed to be on board for American Crime Story Season 3 include Edgar Ramirez, who will play the role of Gianni Versace, and Darren Criss as his murderer, Andrew Cunanan.

Cruz’s appearance on American Crime Story marks her debut as a regular television actress. The 42-year-old model starred in her first American film, titled The Hi-Lo Country, opposite Billy Crudup. She has since earned worldwide recognition and even became the first Spanish actress to take home an Oscar.

American Crime Story picked Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace
Penelope Cruz joins Ryan Murphy's true crime anthology, American Crime Story [Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

Penelope won Best Supporting Actress for her role Maria Elena in the 2008 film, Vicki Cristina Barcelona, which was directed by Woody Allen. Cruz has also starred in several blockbuster films including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strange Tides, alongside Johnny Depp.

American Crime Story Season 3’s production couldn’t have picked a better actress for the role of Donatella than Penelope, InStyle mentioned in its report. According to the publication, Penelope has worn creations by Versace on several occasions and each time, she rocked it. Although she might be a brunette, Penelope would nail it if she goes blonde.

It would not be Cruz’s first time to change her hair color for a role, although it was just a wig. She sported the blonde look in her 2009 film, Broken Embraces.

Penelope also looks glamorous with a smoky eye makeup and her sunkissed complexion, just like Donatella. She will also be great as the Italian designer because she can speak the language fluently, just like in one of her movies, Twice Born. Cruz is also one of the Hollywood actors who can speak more than one language.

Penelope is the latest actress to become part of Murphy’s projects. The screenwriter is known for bringing famous silver screen actors, like Catherine Zeta-Jones and Susan Sarandon for Feud, to small screens.

Slated to premiere sometime in 2018, American Crime Story Season 3 will be all about the murder of Italian fashion designer and Versace founder, Gianni Versace. Gianni was gunned down on the steps of his home in Miami Beach on July 15, 1997, by American serial killer, Andrew Cunanan. Cruz’s role, Donatella, stepped in to take over the business following her brother’s death. The events in the third installment will be based on Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth’s 1999 book Vulgar Favors.

Penelope Cruz will play Donatella Versace in the upcoming season of American Crime Story
Penelope Cruz will play Gianni Versace's sister, Donatella Versace [Image by

Prior to the confirmation that Penelope Cruz will play Donatella Versace, rumors were rife that Lady Gaga, also a regular in one of Murphy’s projects, American Horror Story, will play the current vice president of the Versace Group. However, the producer already cleared the rumors, saying that it’s impossible for Gaga to play the part due to a conflict of schedule.

“When you’re going to do a show like Versace, it’s a five-month commitment, it’s a very big show, we’re shooting it all over the world. So I just don’t think with her schedule, I knew that it would never had worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future.”

American Crime Story Season 3 is set to premiere sometime in 2018 and filming with Penelope Cruz will begin in April. There will be 10 episodes for Season 3 and they will be shot in Miami and Los Angeles. Ahead of filming, it was already announced that the true crime series’s Season 4 has already been planned. It will focus more on the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

[Featured Image by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images]