Why Stanley Tucci Once Thought He'd Never Enjoy A Meal Again

After reading that headline, you might immediately think, "Ah, celebrities, they're just like us, they can catch COVID-19 and lose their sense of taste too," and, well, you're not wrong. But that's not the case for actor Stanley Tucci.

You've probably seen Tucci in any number of amazing, award-winning movies, though his most recent screen appearance is actually his own travel and food TV show, "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy." The actor travels across Italy sampling a variety of different regions' foods, and it's got us hungry and simultaneously looking up plane tickets. But what most people don't know — or didn't, until recently — is that filming the show wasn't all wanderlust and full stomachs for Tucci.

In a recent New York Post article, the famed actor revealed he was diagnosed with oral cancer several years ago, and while the cure rates were high, the treatments definitely came with some drawbacks. Tucci's options were limited to either removing part of the base of his tongue, which would permanently affect his speech, or endure chemotherapy and radiation treatments that would affect his sense of taste and smell, though likely only temporarily.

How Stanley Tucci came to truly appreciate food

Stanley Tucci also has a soon-to-be-released memoir titled "Taste, My Life Through Food" that goes much more into detail about his experience with cancer treatments, losing his sense of taste, and a renewed appreciation for all things food (via The New York Times).

Upon completing his cancer treatments, the actor did eventually regain his sense of taste. However, his ability to swallow remained affected, which made filming his food-centric series pretty difficult. According to People, Tucci either had to chew pieces of food for long periods of time to be able to swallow it, or simply couldn't swallow it at all.

Luckily, the show was still a tremendous hit and it can probably be assumed that Tucci still thoroughly enjoyed himself, and his new memoir is anticipated to be a popular, touching read. "There were times when I believed I would never ever be able to cook or enjoy a meal again with the people I love," writes the actor (per New York Post). "[But] my illness and the brutal side effects of the treatment caused me to realize that food was not just a huge part of my life, it basically was my life."