If you haven't watched FX's American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, now may be the time as there are a number of our favorite actors in this Ryan Murphy series. We caught up with Fabiana Pascali who plays the role of the Female Senior Designer to the house of Versace. Fabiana had some common ground with the great designer, shares how she prepared for her role, let's us in on her favorite spots as well as what it's like to be Creative Director of her line, Thinking Panties! Continue reading to find out about this dynamic show and make sure to catch up on this series as we find ourselves talking about it to a number of our friends who are looking for a new show to embrace.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you get into acting and what was the moment that took place that made you realize it was for you?
FABIANA PASCALI: As a child, I was quite the creative extrovert. It was always easy for me to get into character and give my family fictional performances. During middle school and high school, I was always involved in theatre. It was only after quitting dentistry school at 19 that I got offered to audition in an all-girls music group. I made the cut and joined the group! It was then I knew showbiz would be part of my life.
AM: Tell us about shows/movies that you have been in?
FP: Most of my career is based in hosting and commercial work, with shows airing at to local, national, and international community. I’ve had the pleasure of more than twenty years doing
what I love.
AM: You are currently in American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace where you play the role of “Female Senior Designer” that worked with Gianni in the House of Versace, and who was also one of the right hands of Donatella! How did this part get offered to you, what was the process of getting this part and how did you prepare for this role?
FP: My theatrical agent, Jaime Ferrar, called saying he had a high-profile audition I should read for. Casting was looking someone to play an Italian designer. That’s all we knew. I had no idea what show it was or what it was about, let alone who were the actors involved! Looking back, the secrecy surrounding the audition was tight!
Preparing for the role was a bit different, given I knew little about the character or what I was reading for. I rehearsed, read the description of the character, and dressed by my gut instinct.
AM: In playing this character, you already had connections to the subject matter as you are a Creative Director of Thinking Panties, you're half Italian and your husband came from the same province as Gianni - how did that assist you in taking on this character?
FP: As you said there a number of commonalities with my character. When I booked the job and learned more about the character, I laughed because who they were describing was me! Speaking Italian didn’t hurt either! It gave me an insight into how to best approach the character. It’s much easier to bring a character to life when you can get inside their head!
AM: Tell us what it was like to film this TV show especially working beside Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and Edgar Ramirez?
FP: It was a phenomenal experience to be part of a series of this magnitude. What can I say?! Seeing my name on the call sheet along these giants makes one feel accomplished!
Most of my scenes were alongside Penelope [Cruz], who plays the role of ‘Donatella Versace’, which was a bit humbling. When Ricky [Martin] was playing ‘Antonio D’Amico’ (lover to Gianni Versace), he completely blew me away! All of them are completely cool-headed professionals that were an absolute pleasure to work with and learn from!
AM: Were you a fan of Versace prior to coming into this program and how was it to be immersed within this opulent world?
FP: Absolutely! I have always been a huge fan of Versace!
AM: The world of Versace is a different lifestyle than most everyone experiences.
FP: The fashion world is worlds away from everyday life. The life of Versace, the man and the brand, is an experience onto itself. You’re taking a world that’s in the limelight yet veiled from
prying eyes, then translating that into a show. In a way, it’s imitation of Versace. Talk about poetic.
AM: Tell us about Thinking Panties!
FP: I founded Thinking Panties in 2011 as a line of underwear with a fun concept for the creative type who wants to personalize everything. All you need is a marker and your imagination! The
idea was to give someone’s inner artist a chance to flourish and even be a fun gift to give someone.
You can find get a pair direct from www.thinkingpanties.com
AM: Where are your favorite spots to work out, grab a drink and eat and to shop in LA?
FP: I enjoy hiking in the mountains, with some go-to trails in the Arroyo Seco between LA and Pasadena, as well as those in Hollywood and Griffith Park. I love the feeling of releasing endorphins, breathing fresh air, and enjoying the warmth of sunrays touching my skin.
When it comes to the restaurant experience, I’m pretty biased (lol). Of course, I prefer Italian and Argentinean foods. If you’re going out for Italian, try Bestia in the Arts District, Terroni in Downtown, Eatalian in Culver City. For Argentinean, Carlitos Gardel near West Hollywood, Malbec and 1810 Argentinean in Pasadena.
To grab a drink I head over to visit my cousin Guillermo Zapata, owner of SUR Restaurant & Lounge, in West Hollywood.
Where do I shop? Everywhere, really! I always find great pieces of wardrobe at Anthropologie and Free People. There are a bunch of different boutiques and department stores around town I frequent. There are just too many to list!
AM: What is your personal style when you're running around LA, heading out to brunch and when you're heading out to meet your agent/go on a casting/do a table read?
FP: I love wearing a good pair of jeans and nice t-shirts/blouse with a leather jacket on top. Depending on the occasion, I’ll throw on boots, pumps, or Converse. I keep my color palette fairly neutral.
AM: What projects do you have coming up that you can tell us about?
FP: I’m currently focused on new design projects. A big part of me is always coming up with ideas in my design studio and seeing where it naturally progresses. There’s some hearsay on going back to TV hosting, which I would love to do.
AM: What ways do you give back to the community or provide philanthropy?
FP: For every pair of Thinking Panties purchased, I give another pair to women in need. Much like Tom’s shoes, who matches a pair for every pair purchased. I provide these to local shelters,
women’s organizations, and missions.
I also donate monthly to institutions such as St. Judes Children’s Hospital, Food for the Poor, Wounded Warriors, and Operation Smile.
I believe just a little help given with love can make a difference. If we all did a little, it would add up to a big change!