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Stanley Tucci tried to break up with Felicity Blunt over 21-year age gap: ‘I kept trying to break it off’

Felicity is the sister of Tucci’s ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ co-star Emily Blunt

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 04 July 2023 07:11 BST
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Stanley Tucci reveals backstory of famous Devil Wears Prada line

Stanley Tucci has recalled trying to break up with his now-wife Felicity Blunt because of their 21-year age gap.

Appearing on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs on Sunday 2 July, the Citadel star spoke about finding love again after his wife of 14 years, Kate Spath-Tucci died from stage 4 breast cancer in 2009.

Tucci and Felicity, the sister of Emily Blunt, first met at the premiere of The Devil Wears Prada in 2006. “She and Kate talked a lot that night,” Tucci recalled.

They reconnected at Emily’s wedding to John Krasinski at Lake Como, a year-and-a-half after Kate’s death. In 2012, Tucci and Felicity tied the knot.

Tucci, 62, said: “I was afraid to get into a relationship and I kept trying to break it off because I am 21 years older than she is and I didn’t want to feel old for the rest of my life. But I knew this was an incredibly special person.

“Felicity has been so incredible taking on a widower and three children,” he added. “That’s a huge thing, at a very young age too. If anybody made things better for all of us, it’s her. She’s the one.”

The couple share two children, son Matteo Oliver, eight, and daughter Emilia Giovanna, five. The 40-year-old literary agent is also a stepmother to Tucci and Kate’s children, twins Isabel and Nicolo, 23, and daughter Camilla, 21.

During the interview on Sunday, Tucci also spoke about feeling guilty after Kate’s death, explaining it was because “I couldn’t help her”.

“I thought I could help her, I was helpless,” he added.

Actor Stanley Tucci and his first wife Kate at the premiere of the film 'Devil Wears Prada' during the ninth day of the 63rd Venice Film Festival on September 7, 2006 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by MJ Kim/Getty Images)

“And I know you felt you couldn’t be with her in the end, which must have brought some complicated emotions to the surface for you,” host Lauren Laverne said.

“Yeah, very,” the Supernova actor replied. “I was afraid it would affect me so greatly that I wouldn’t be able to go on and take care of the kids. That it would overwhelm me, so I had to step away.

“Other people were there with her, my stepdaughter and friends, and that was a good thing. I did what I had to do to help the kids get along. But you still feel guilty about it, you feel sad,” he continued.

Tucci was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017, and credited Felicity for helping him through the treatment in an earlier interview.

In conversation with Willie Geist on Sunday Sitdown in May, Tucci reflected on how he and Kate had “travelled all over the world trying to find a cure for her” before her death.

“So when I got [cancer], I was completely shocked,” he said. “I was terrified, absolutely terrified.”

Tucci added that Felicity had to “drag me kicking and screaming” for the treatments he described as “brutal” but he was grateful because “I wouldn’t be around” otherwise.

Also in the interview, Tucci waded into the ongoing debate surrounding whether straight actors should be able to play gay characters.

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