Tom Rob Smith has written novels and TV shows about murder before, but with his newest project, ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace,’ he’s tackled his first story based on real events. The family of the slain fashion icon has slammed the FX series. Smith tells us about the challenges of writing about real people, and trying to make sense of Andrew Cunanan, the brutal killer who took the lives of 5 men, including Versace, in the course of three months. And on the news banter, women are speaking up about their salaries in an effort to improve pay parity.
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the next wave of the #MeToo movement, women in the industry are breaking long-held taboos about talking about salary.
- Octavia Spencer told a moving story at a Sundance panel about teaming up with Jessica Chastain on a movie, and Chastain demanding Spencer get paid as much as she did. The result for Spencer? Five times her normal salary.
- On the TV side of things, some women writers have launched a Google doc where people can anonymously enter their salary, and people can see roughly who is making what from each studio.
- It looks like CBS and Viacom are set to re-combine, but there may well be a battle between Shari Redstone and Les Moonves along the way.
The ‘Assassination of Gianni Versace,’ the newest installment in the FX anthology series American Crime Story, begins with the 1997 murder of the Italian fashion mogul on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion.
The series then goes back in time, tracing killer Andrew Cunanan’s life, including the 3-month spree in which he murdered four men before turning his gun on Versace.
All nine episodes in the series were written by our guest today, Tom Rob Smith. At one point, early in the series, Smith posits a situation in which Cunanan, played by Darren Criss, meets Versace, played by Edgar Ramirez, a few years before the shooting at a San Francisco nightclub, and then later at an opera where Versace designed the costumes.
The series, and those possible meetings, are based on the book ‘Vulgar Favors’ by journalist Maureen Orth. The Versace family was angered by Orth’s account so it’s not surprising that they have also slammed Smith’s television adaptation.
Smith talks about the challenges of writing about real people and addresses some of the family’s points of contention, including the decision to portray Versace at HIV positive.
Smith is a prolific writer, whose novels include ‘Child 44,’ which was adapted into a movie. He also wrote the stylish five-part BBC thriller, ‘London Spy.’
That series, and much of Smith’s oeuvre, is centered around a gruesome homicide. While Smith didn’t set out to be the go-to writer for murder, he explains why has proven to be a compelling subject and an interesting mechanism for exploring society.
More From The Business
Director Sebastián Lelio & star Daniela Vega on 'A Fantastic Woman' For the now Oscar-nominated Chilean film ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ director Sebastián Lelio cast transgender actress Daniela Vega as a trans woman dealing with the sudden loss of of her partner. Lelio says box office grosses were less than his last movie, but in terms of starting a social conversation in Chile, the film has been incredibly powerful. Both Lelio and Vega join us to talk about making 'A Fantastic Woman.'
‘Mudbound’ cinematographer Rachel Morrison makes Oscars history ‘Mudbound’ director of photography Rachel Morrison just made history as the first woman nominated for an Academy Award for best cinematography. She’s also the first woman to shoot a big comic book movie: the upcoming Marvel mega-hit, ‘Black Panther.’ She fought hard to get to the top of her male-dominated field, but says more women are getting a shot at getting the shot.
In ‘Dirty Money,’ Alex Gibney takes on corporate crime Documentarian Alex Gibney is known for his award-winning investigative films on Enron, Wikileaks and Scientology. For his newest project, he took on the Volkswagen diesel-car emissions scandal and this time, it was personal. Gibney tells us about his new Netflix series ‘Dirty Money,’ in which his look at VW is one of six documentaries in a series on corporate greed.
Amy Sherman-Palladino & Daniel Palladino on 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' Amazon’s ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ tells the story of Midge Maisel--the perfect well-to-do 1950’s New York housewife who turns to stand-up comedy when her husband leaves her. Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband and producing partner Daniel Palladino tell us about the work that goes into filming a period series in Manhattan and their painstaking process for selecting music for the show.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
3 reasons why your commute between Ventura and Santa Barbara has gotten even worse It’s been over a month since deadly mudslides washed through Montecito and shut down Highway 101 for weeks. But, even though the highway is now clean, open and back to… Read More
Vote: What should we answer next? We’ve looked at the history of the Nike missile base, found out about the empty land near LAX, and answered many of your marijuana questions. Now you get to vote!… Read More