In Only God Forgives, Kristin Scott Thomas plays Crystal, the vindictive mother of Ryan Gosling’s Julian. Director Nicolas Winding Refn, who has a history of throwing his stars under the bus, called Thomas’s unsavory character “a cross between Lady Macbeth and Donatella Versace,” adding that it was all Thomas’s idea to model the evil Crystal on Versace. So we wanted to know: What did the designer ever do to Thomas? Squeeze her into a too-tight corset? Step on her dress at Cannes?
“This is a huge mistake. Donatella Versace, I’ve heard she’s the sweetest, nicest, kindest person in the entire world,” Thomas told the Cut last night at a BAM screening of the film. “But what she’s done is created this aesthetic that many, many, many women emulate. And you know, it was a pretty powerful thing to do, and her idea of glamour and beauty doesn’t always work, and it certainly doesn’t work on Crystal. But this kind of idea of the golden goddess that Donatella Versace has mastered, Crystal tries to [do it] and just turns into a devil.”
But thanks to this role, Thomas now understands the power of the bottle blonde. “I discovered through an experiment that when I dressed like that, people’s attitudes and the way people behaved around me and towards me changed radically. It’s a totally different ball game,” she said. “Immediately men become extremely aggressive, and women are frightened of you. It’s extraordinary. You should try it!”