Martin Scorsese stated plans to tackle the Gucci saga around that time, though he planned his film not on Forden’s account but Gerald McKnight’s 1987 book, “Gucci: A House Divided.” As that project stalled, “Alien” and “Gladiator” filmmaker Ridley Scott began eyeing the Gucci tale. Later, Wong Kar-wai and Scott’s daughter, Jordan, were linked to the director’s chair. At different points, Angelina Jolie, Penélope Cruz and Margot Robbie reportedly were set to star as Patrizia Reggiani, the woman convicted of hiring a hit man to kill her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, in 1995.
Finally, it was Ridley Scott who circled back and took the reins on “House of Gucci,” as adapted from Forden’s book by screenwriters Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna. On Wednesday, the buzzy Oscar contender — starring Lady Gaga as Patrizia and Adam Driver as Maurizio — hits theaters.
“I’m not a Hollywood creature and I don’t know all of the ins and outs,” says Forden, 61, who wrote about the fashion industry in Italy for more than 15 years and now leads a Bloomberg News team that covers corporate influence and big tech. “But what I’m told is that it can take time for the right combination of the screenplay, the actors and the director to all fall into place, which is what happened here — but in a way far above and beyond even my wildest dreams.”
The film adaptation also presented Forden, who now calls Arlington home, the opportunity to revisit her work for the movie tie-in version of “The House of Gucci,” which was published with a new afterword — covering the events of the intervening years and the Gucci brand’s enduring legacy — after she conducted follow-up interviews with some of the book’s original subjects.
When it comes to penning her perfect day in the D.C. area, Forden makes time to take in plenty of art, track down the perfect crab cake and, naturally, enjoy a healthy helping of Italian cuisine.
I grew up, on and off, living in the D.C. suburbs, and I would bike with my dad all around the city. So I got to know D.C. on a bicycle, going by the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial or biking the Mount Vernon Trail right after it first opened. I recently started biking there again and it was just this flood of memories, so I’d start my day by re-creating those bike rides and taking those moments to remember the past.
Next, I’d ride into Georgetown on the towpath and go to Paul for breakfast — they just have the best breads and coffee, and even though it’s a chain, they really know how to do it. While I’m in Georgetown, I’d also get a massage at Unwind Wellness on Thomas Jefferson Street. I just went there for my birthday in August with my college friend and I think we both had the best massages that we’ve ever had in our lives.
After that, we’d get lunch at Martin’s Tavern, which has an amazing crab cake, or go to Eastern Market; they used to have one of my favorite restaurants, which unfortunately closed during covid, called Montmartre. Another option would be Clyde’s of Gallery Place — the crab cake and the french fries there are phenomenal.
Washington is such a great art city. Some of my favorites are the Phillips Collection, which does a great event on the first Thursday night of every month; the Kreeger Museum, which is such a wonderful space with a lot of impressionist paintings; and the Renwick Gallery, which is fun if you want something light. I’d spend the afternoon visiting those galleries, and I’d also stop by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which has been such an addition to the top-tier museums of D.C.
After living in Italy for 22 years, I would be remiss in not mentioning some of my favorite Italian restaurants: I love Centrolina, Lupo Verde, Al Dente, 2 Amys and the Italian Store, and the amazing Pupatella for pizza. But I’d go to my current favorite, Sfoglina, for dinner — the goat cheese ravioli is delicious, the charred branzino is excellent and they have a lovely rosé.
To wrap up the day, I’d head to one of my all-time favorite places in D.C.: Kramers bookstore. I remember being in grad school and thinking, “I want to live in a city that has a place where I can find my people and feel surrounded by community at any hour,” and I feel that way around Kramers. It’s just a great atmosphere — you can go grab a book, grab a coffee, sit and watch the people go by.