If you didn’t notice that it was Jared Leto until his name appeared on the credits, you won’t be the only one.

The 49-year-old American actor and Academy Award-winner has starred in a wealth of movies over his career and has come to be known as quite the chameleon of his craft.

Contrasting his performances in, say, Dallas Buyers Club and The Little Things, you simply have to admire how much he disappears into his roles.

In House of Gucci, he’s essentially unrecognisable, donning a bald cap and playing real-life figure Paolo Gucci.

He was important to the Italian fashion house and was known as a businessman and fashion designer. At one point he was the chief designer and vice-president, but at the end of the film, it’s addressed that he died in poverty in 1995.

While the cause of death for other real-life figures depicted in the film are addressed, his death is left unexplained. So, how did Paolo Gucci die?

still from House of Gucci trailer, MGM, Universal Pictures

How did Paolo Gucci die?

Paolo Gucci died of chronic hepatitis and passed away in a hospital in London.

He was actually in the midst of divorce proceedings at the time and he filed for bankruptcy a couple of years before his passing.

Looking back on his life, House of Gucci explores the escalating feud that threatened the family dynamic. Paolo launched his own fashion line which marked the beginning of a rivalry and trade war.

However, he later sold his share in the family business to Investcorp – a London-based Arab investment bank – for $42.5 million back in 1987.

He went on to live with his girlfriend in a mansion in Sussex, England. Following the selling of his shares, he was jailed for a brief time due to failure to pay his ex-wife child support.

Earlier this year, Jared Leto’s portrayal actually received criticism from Paolo’s daughter, Patrizia Gucci.

She called the actor’s take on her father “horrible” in a statement to Associated Press and says that she still feels offended by the movie’s treatment of him.

HOUSE OF GUCCI | Official Trailer 2 | Universal Pictures

HOUSE OF GUCCI | Official Trailer 2 | Universal Pictures

“I had olive oil for blood”

While in conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Jared explained that he saw Paolo as a “dreamer” and “the black sheep of his family… someone never really heard.”

He explains that he felt an “immediate connection” upon reading the screenplay.

The Independent also includes that the actor recently opened up about how committed he was to the part:

“I was snorting lines of arrabbiata sauce by the middle of this movie. I had olive oil for blood. This was a deep dive I did. If you took a biopsy of my skin, it would come back as parmesan cheese! This is my love letter to Italy. Bringing Paolo to life was like birthing a bowling ball out of my sphincter.”

He added: “I keep saying my butt was shaking like two little chicken bones on that set. It was a very physical performance. There’s something about corduroy, I think: when you put it on, it’s like you can catch fire.”

Audiences weigh in

Since its release, a number of eager audiences have hopped onto Twitter to share their disbelief at Jared’s performance.

A wealth of fans have wasted no time in showering it with praise:

House of Gucci is now in cinemas.

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