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The Best of Times, The Worst of Times for Stanley Tucci

CBS Sunday Morning profiled Stanley Tucci last week. He talked much about his early career as an actor, mostly being cast as mobsters. He talked about why he chose the part in The Lovely Bones, and why he was chosen by Meryl Streep to play her husband in Julie & Julia:

The part gave him the chance to work once again with Meryl Streep, the actor he met when he played the creative director to Streep’s exacting fashion editor in the hit 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”

“Do you sometimes pick a role simply because of the other actors in the film?” Moriarty asked.

“Without question. At a party, Meryl said to me a few years ago, ‘Do you want to play my husband in this movie that Nora’s gonna do?’ And I said, you know, ‘Of course, yes, I’d love, I would love to.’ But Meryl was the one who really said, ‘Stanley has to do this because he’s the right guy for the role.'”

The story hit a sad note when Tucci brought up his wife’s passing:

(AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

For much of his 25-year career, Tucci’s real leading lady has been his wife, Kate (left, pictured at the New York premiere of “The Devil Wears Prada” in 2006).

Four years ago they found out she was sick. Although Kate Tucci was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, they never gave up hope.

“We really believed that Kate wasn’t going to die, that she was one of those people that wasn’t going to die,” he said.

But last April, Kate passed away. Tucci is now in the role of single dad to their three young children.

“Is it still pretty tough even to talk about?” Moriarty asked.

“You have to talk about it; you’d go crazy if you didn’t,” Tucci said. “But, hard wouldn’t be the word. I mean, it’s still inconceivable, and probably always will be inconceivable to me, that she’s not here, or that I won’t see her again.”

Now he’s taking jobs that will allow him to stay close to home and family, which is why he agreed to try something new and a little risky. This spring, Stanley Tucci will be, for the first time, directing a play on Broadway, “Lend Me a Tenor.”

“I don’t do this just to make money,” he said. “I don’t do this just to have a certain level of fame. I do it because I want a challenge. I want to keep growing. I want to keep learning. I want to tell new stories. I want to find out something new about people and about myself.”

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