Gina Gershon said she got bronchitis while filming House of Versace.
Gershon plays Donatella Versace in the upcoming Lifetime movie, and the role required her to smoke. The 51-year-old said she tried healthier cigarette alternatives to perfect Versace’s nicotine habit, but nothing worked.
“They even tried to give me the fake cigarettes because they thought they would be better, but those just killed me. There’s so much oil in them,” she said.
“So I just started smoking a lot before I went into it, so I could work myself up to it,” she said. “As soon as it was over, I was like, ‘Thank God!’, and then I smoked a little bit when I was doing the looping… but I wasn’t used to it and I got bronchitis.”
The Lifetime biopic is based on House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival by Deborah Bell. The movie follows Donatella Versace’s life after the murder of her brother, Gianni, in 1997. After Gianni Versace’s death, his sister struggled with drug addiction and the company almost went bankrupt. With the help of her daughter Allegra, aunt Lucia, and brother Santo, Versace entered rehab to face her demons and came out to make the company better than ever.
Lifetime will also air a documentary called Versace: Beyond the Headlines after the biopic. The documentary will focus on Gianni Versace’s start in the fashion industry and his rise to head of a multimillion-dollar empire. The doc will include interviews from people who knew Versace, as well as other designers. Police detectives and a criminologist will be also be interviewed to give their take on Versace’s murder.