The South Beach mansion featured in producer Ryan Murphy's new American Crime Story season devoted to the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace is no movie set. It's the real thing.
Twenty years after Versace's death, Murphy and crew headed to Miami to film parts of the show at the iconic 1930-era home that the designer carefully revived — what is now the boutique hotel The Villa Casa Casuarina.
The home is designed by Katia Bates, a designer whose Versace-inspired mansion is on the market for $27.5 million in Fort Lauderdale.
Katia is a second-generation member of the interior design industry who hails from Venice, Italy, and often travels to Europe and around the world looking for the perfect and unique pieces that complement the highly details interior design of both homes as well as her other projects – she designed Casa Casuarina, the former Versace House, twice and in their family home, 524 Isla of Capri, there is a pool table from the Versace Mansion.
Chauncey Copeland, the hotel’s general manager, told the Associated Press that crew from the FX series spent about a month filming at the hotel. “It’s really striking just how accurate they are,” he said.
The hotel is still a memorial of sorts to Versace, where guests can live like the designer (if only for a weekend).
“We actually have preserved what Versace created here and just augmented it with some modern touches for the convenience of our hotel guests and restaurant patrons,” Copeland told the AP. The mansion’s famous Versace logo-emblazoned mosaic swimming pool is still there, although the hidden passageways the designer once used to traverse the huge mansion are now closed.
The house itself will be almost be its own character in the The FX’s series The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which will premiere on January 17 with Edgar Ramirez as Versace.
Murphy told Page Six last month he couldn’t believe it when he received the permit to shoot there. “I don’t think I could have made the show if I couldn’t have gotten that house,” he said. “There was no way you could build [a set] of it. Two of the rooms were made out of seashells. [Gianni Versace’s sister] Donatella [Versace] took all the furniture and the art when she sold the house, but through pictures we were able to recreate them.”
“It adds something to the performance,” Murphy told Page Six. “When Edgar Ramirez goes to those Biedermeier closets [in Versace’s bedroom], they were the same closets Versace spent a year building and they’ve been lovingly maintained. They were extraordinary.”
This article was updated April 30, 2018.
- Versace’s former mansion now a luxury hotel in Miami Beach [7 New Miami]
- 10 of Miami’s most iconic buildings, mapped [Curbed Miami]
- Recreating Versace murder emotionally drained Ryan Murphy, cast and crew [Page Six]
- Versace-inspired Fort Lauderdale home asks $27.5M [Curbed Miami]