The musician and actor stars opposite Lady Gaga (Patrizia Reggiani) and Adam Driver (Maurizio Gucci) in Ridley Scott’s new film, which charts the violent tussle for control over the fashion brand.
Speaking to NME about how he views Paolo’s role in the family, who was once chief designer and vice president of Gucci, Leto said: “I guess it’s kind of a Shakespearian story in a way. I think that Paolo is a bit of a clown prince. He’s a frustrated artist who really wants to share his work with the world, he’s not seen or heard by his family, he’s really marginalised by the people that are closest to him.
“Honestly there was a lot I related there to as far as being a creative person that wants to share their work with the world and wants to make something special with our lives.”
Leto added: “I guess we all kind of have that feeling, but I absolutely fell in love with the character. I love his sense of style and his passion for life. He always had a twinkle in his eye and he was really just a lot of fun to play.”
The actor prepared for the role by “listening to Italian hits” of the 1980s, which have gone on to inspire sounds on the next Thirty Seconds To Mars album.
“There are a lot of those sounds that definitely are on the new [Thirty Seconds To Mars] album,” Leto said. “My first instrument was a Roland Juno 106, which is a synthesiser from the ‘80s. I really cherished that instrument, and those sounds are so nostalgic.
“Those sounds [from that decade] are kinda embedded in our psyche, and they really speak directly to our heart sometimes. They take us back to the films that we grew up on. So I love to pull from that stuff.”
In NME’s four-star review, House Of Gucci is described as “long, sprawling and tonally all over the place” but a film that feels like an “instant camp classic”.
House Of Gucci is released in UK cinemas on Friday (November 26).