The director Matt Tyrnauer on Valentino The Last Emperor:
"I don’t think of the movie as a tribute to excess, or a celebration of opulence. It casts a relatively cold eye on it. I want audiences to take away from it what they will. In terms of making Valentino an accessible character, fashion is the backdrop here. It’s the relationship between the two of them that’s a universal story. It just so happens that they’re two of the richest men in Rome. But any time you have two people who have survived a half century together, who are so connected and clearly have this deep love for one another—that is universal. People really connect with that. Also, I think people want to look into worlds that are not their own. That’s why I encouraged Valentino to not phony-it up and to let it hang out a little bit. You know that he and Giammetti are Olympic mind-changers. I mean, I’ve never seen anything like. It can range from the type of pasta at lunch to a round-the-world trip that will be rescheduled minutes before takeoff."