Last month, Stanley Tucci went public to reveal he’d beaten cancer, undergoing radiation therapy to eradicate a tumour that had grown at the base of his tongue.
In a new interview with the New York Times to promote his upcoming book Taste: My Life Through Food, he opened up even more about his cancer battle, revealing his biggest fear was that he’d lose his sense of taste. “I mean, if you can’t eat and enjoy food, how are you going to enjoy everything else?” he said.
Meanwhile, what viewers of his critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning CNN food-and-travel series “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” didn’t realize was that the 60-year-old actor was still in the midst of recovering from treatment while filming the show.
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“It was hard because I could taste everything, but I couldn’t necessarily swallow,” he told the Times.
Fans of the show will certainly recall one episode in which he enjoys a Florentine-style steak — or at least that’s how it appeared onscreen.
“I had to chew it for 10 minutes to get it down my throat,” he said, admitting there were times when he “just had to get rid of the food.”
Despite his condition at the time, Tucci was adamant about making the show, which had been a labour of love for years. “There was no way I wasn’t going to make it,” he said. “I’ve wanted to tell for a long time the story of Italy and the disparate cuisine in every region.”
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While recovering, Tucci revealed he would pass the time by watching TV cooking shows, “which was weird because even the smell of food then would just make me want to throw up,” he said. “But I liked watching them. I just wanted to learn more, live vicariously through them. It was a way I was going to have that once again.”