Final Portrait: Stanley Tucci on his new Alberto Giacometti film, love of London and Trump 'bad dream'

Stanley Tucci takes Alberto Giacometti, his eccentricities, his foibles, his obsessions and his self-doubt and presents you with a sensitive, captivating, comedic study of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

'Final Portrait' recounts an episode from Giacometti's life in 1964, when he invites American critic and admirer James Lord to sit for him in his Paris studio. The film documents the portrait sessions and the relationship that blossoms as a result.

Through their meetings we learn about Giacometti's obsession with Caroline, his muse, a prostitute, and we witness the cruel treatment of his wife as a result. We get to see the darker recesses of the sculptor's character, and how he is plagued by a lack of self-worth.

The story "Final Portrait" is Lord's true account of what happened in the 18 days he sat for Giacometti.

It's a book that Tucci carried around with him for 25 years, and then wrote the film script.

He told me it is "the perfect book that describes the agony of the creative process."

It's that 'process' that he wants to show us. How a restless innovator gets from point A to point B. How he ends up with a masterpiece, albeit a piece of work he never deems as finished.

It is both frustrating and fascinating to watch Giacometti near completion on painting the intricacies of Lord's face with a fine black paintbrush time and time again, only to then pick up a big, fat brush daubed in grey paint and scribble it all out.

"I'm finished," he says so often when he feels he never ever is.

His own exasperation with working and painting culminate in numerous explosions of expletives and rants. Hilarious.

Some of Giacometti's pieces are on display at the Tate Modern. Credit: PA

Tucci loves art. He was surrounded by it as a child. His Dad was an artist and an art teacher, and he is enthralled by the creative process. Like Giacometti, he too is never satisfied with his pieces of work. He even feels that this film is not finished.

As an actor in successes like the Hunger Games, The Pelican Brief, and Devil Wears Prada and as a producer, writer and director, Tucci knows every part of the 'process' in making a film. In this, he undertakes the roles of writer and director masterfully.

He told me: "Acting is what I do, it's what I know and what I'll always go back to, but as I get older I like writing and directing more and more.

"It enables me to control time, to control space and to tell a story [where as] actors spend a lot of time in their trailers being told what to do and I don't like waiting."

Lucy Watson interviews Stanley Tucci at the Tate Modern

Tucci told me he sees many similarities between him and obsession with death, the dark humour only Italians have about that obsession, and the self-doubt.

Giacometti was a Swiss Italian living in Paris. Tucci is an Italian American living in London. Both displaced. Tucci explained to me how much he loves London.

"I am so comfortable here. I feel like it's a city where I should've always lived. I just didn't know it."

He's married to Emily Blunt's sister, Felicity and has lived in the city for four years. But living here makes him view 'home' from a 'good place.'

Stanley Tucci pictured with his wife Felicity Blunt. Credit: PA

"I am very sad what is going on in my country [under Donald Trump's administration]. It's a step backwards. It's like a bad dream you keep hoping to wake up from.

There isn't a single thing he's achieved. He just keeps demolishing years of work. Anyone can do that. Protest is the only way to galvanise people."

Tucci is highly critical of Donald Trump's administration. Credit: AP

Meeting Tucci at the Tate Modern, one early morning before the public were allowed in, surrounded by Giacometti's work (it's the first time in 20 years it's been on display in the UK, and is showing until 10th September) was a privilege.

A charismatic, passionate artiste who's chosen to show another - very different type of artist through film - and from what we understand of Giacometti, Tucci captures the essence of the man and his craft perfectly.