Stanley Tucci explains why his cancer diagnosis made him “more afraid and less afraid”

Written by Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

Stanley Tucci has, for the first time, opened up about the health scare he faced three years ago. 

Stanley Tucci is, without a doubt, one of our absolute Hollywood favourites – and not just because he’s dazzled us in the likes of Devil Wears Prada, Julie & Julia, and The Hunger Games, oh no. It’s also because, during lockdown, the actor has delivered us nothing but warmth, wit, and wisdom via his now viral Instagram feed, too.

Despite sharing a glut of cooking-at-home videos, though, Tucci has always made a point of keeping his personal life just that; personal. Which is why so many fans were drawn to his latest interview, in which he has opened up about the cancer diagnosis he received three years ago.

Speaking to Virgin Atlantic’s Vera, Tucci explained that he was diagnosed with a tumour at the base of his tongue. And, while he gently avoided talking about the medical care he received at that time, the actor did discuss the fears he felt during that period of his life – fears which felt far more pronounced due to the fact that his first wife, Kate Spath-Tucci, passed away in 2009 after battling breast cancer.

“It was too big to operate, so they had to do high-dose radiation and chemo,” he said. 

“I’d vowed I’d never do anything like that, because my first wife died of cancer, and to watch her go through those treatments for years was horrible.”

Stanley Tucci is one of the world’s most beloved actors.

Tucci went on to explain that he worried about the impact his illness would have upon his wife, Felicity Blunt, and his five children.

“The kids were great, but it was hard for them,” he said. “I had a feeding tube for six months. And I could barely make it to the twins’ high school graduation.”

Explaining that his cancer is now in remission and unlikely to return, the actor added: “[Cancer] makes you more afraid and less afraid at the same time. I feel much older than I did before I was sick. But you still want to get ahead and get things done.”

Tucci has, it seems, gotten a lot of things done; this year alone has seen him drop a new travel show, Searching For Italy, as well as Supernova, a new romantic drama with Colin Firth. There’s also a memoir about food on the way, not to mention his starring roles in Netflix’s Worth and The King’s Man.

Then, as mentioned, there’s the fact that Tucci’s Instagram feed has positively blown up during lockdown, with many flocking to the actor’s social media page for foodie fun, custom cocktail recipes, and the occasional home movies.

“It turns out that all I had to do, all these years, was just be myself,” the actor tells Vera, when asked the secret to his success.

“Who knew?”

Images: Getty

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