Stanley Tucci had fears over the 21-year age gap with future wife

Stanley Tucci had fears over the 21-year age gap with future wife Felicity, the sister of his The Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily Blunt

Actor Stanley Tucci has revealed doubts over dating a much younger woman nearly wrecked his chance of happiness with future wife Felicity, the sister of his The Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily Blunt.

Tucci, 62, says he considered breaking up with literary agent Felicity Blunt because he is 21 years older than her.

‘I was afraid to get into a relationship and I kept trying to break it off because I am so much 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,’ he tells Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs today.

Emily, now 40, introduced Felicity to Tucci and his then wife Kate at The Devil Wears Prada premiere in 2006. But the romance only began after they met at Emily’s 2010 wedding to actor John Krasinski in Italy.

Tucci, by then a widower with three children after Kate died from breast cancer in 2009, married Felicity in 2012. He now lives in London with her and their two young children.

Stanley Tucci and his wife Felicity Blunt attending the 2023 Women’s Prize For Fiction Winner’s Ceremony, taking place at Bedford Square Gardens, London

Tucci and Kate, who died from breast cancer in 2009, during ‘Road to Perdition’

Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci arriving at The 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards held at the Hollywood Palladium on January 15, 2010

‘Felicity has been so incredible taking on a widower and three children,’ he says. ‘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.’

Tucci also reveals his guilt over not being with Kate at the end.

He says: ‘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.’

Tucci, who also starred in Julie & Julia and The Hunger Games series, says former social worker Kate is still a presence in his life.

‘I see her sometimes,’ he says. ‘There’s a part of you that goes, ‘Oh no, that’s not her’ and then you think maybe it is her. Maybe she didn’t really die. I have so many dreams. You never really believe that a person is dead and I’m coming to understand that now.’

He has won a battle with oral cancer and says his diagnosis in 2017, when Felicity was pregnant with their daughter Emilia, changed his perspective on life. ‘It was a terrible time,’ he says. ‘It humanises you. I wasn’t fully aware of my mortality even after Kate’s death and so many friends had passed away from cancer. Now I get it.’

  • Desert Island Discs is on Radio 4 today at 11.15am and repeated on Friday at 9am.

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