Monday, May 27, 2024

‘She is one of the most brilliant writers ever’ – Stanley Tucci ‘desperate’ to meet Irish author

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Eager to get back to London for his daughter’s sixth birthday party, the actor was on a tight schedule. He managed to squeeze in dinner on Thursday evening, dining with friends in the Dublin 2 restaurant, Library Street, but said he wishes he had more time to spend here.

Tucci’s wife, literary agent Felicity Blunt, accompanied him for the flying visit. Sister to actress Emily Blunt, she represents several best-selling authors including Co Wicklow-born writer Claire Keegan.

Tucci says he has read some of Keegan’s work and is a fan of her novels. “I think they’re incredible, I think she is incredible.”

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He also enjoyed the film adaptation of Keegan’s book Small Things Like These, which was released earlier this year, with Cillian Murphy taking an acting and producing credits.

“I saw the movie that Cillian made which I thought was beautiful,” he says.

“Claire Keegan, who I am desperate to meet, is just one of the most brilliant writers ever.”

Author Claire Keegan. Photo: Getty

Tucci has, for better or worse, been immortalised in pop culture for his roles in films such as The Devil Wears Prada, Easy A and The Hunger Games. The first, in which he starred alongside his sister-in-law, has been a large talking point in the new era of film remakes.

There is no sign of a sequel or the cast coming together to work on another project, but Tucci doesn’t seem to mind the chatter.

“I don’t feel like I’m done talking about it at all, I’m thrilled that people love those movies. I love that they cross generations. You get a construction worker that goes ‘I loved The Devil Wears Prada’ and you’re like ‘what?’

“I think it’s cool that The Hunger Games and Transformers are loved. Those movies are getting older, and it’s great that they cross generations.“

Tucci, who is based primarily in the UK, has observed a shift in the American movie industry in recent years. More films are being shot internationally, in Europe especially, he says.

“Being in the UK is much easier. Things are not shot as much in LA as they used to be; I haven’t worked there in seven years. The tide has turned towards Europe.”

While known for his acting roles, Tucci broke into the social media space during the Covid-19 pandemic, where he would post videos from his home kitchen making cocktails or cooking intricate Italian dishes.

Cooking shows, cookbooks, and a recently released cookware collection soon followed.

Stanley Tucci. Photo: Andres Poveda

Tucci is an anti-influencer, and has no interest in using social media for anything other than fun. The production quality of his content is low, with clips filmed by his wife, the pair laughing like teenagers, further endearing viewers to the couple.

His most recent cooking-at-home video racked up 3.2 million views. While social media has changed the concept of celebrity in many ways, it is still a novelty to get such intimate access to a traditional ‘movie star’ such as Tucci.

“I don’t take to [social media] easily,” he admits. “It is a conscious choice, but at the same time I enjoy it. When used properly, it is a really great thing, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who abuse it in so many different ways.

“If you want to tell a short story it’s a great way to do that, if it is something that is meaningful to you, but meaningful, not just ‘I want you to pay attention to me’.

“It connects us, but it also has perverted celebrity a bit too. Is it nice that people feel like they have access to you but at the same time most people are aware that it is inappropriate to do and say certain things.

“When people come up and assume that they are going to take a picture with you and they have the camera ready, or they just take the picture of you just standing there like you’re in a zoo, that’s just weird,” he adds.

“[Social media] connects us, but at the same time it opens a door that should be closed.”

Tucci was in Dublin as global brand ambassador for Tanqueray’s No Ten gin.

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