The actor portrays serial killer George Harvey in the movie, based on author Alice Sebold's bestselling book about a young teenager who watches over her grieving family and her murderer from heaven after being brutally raped and killed.
Tucci's spouse Kate warned him off the project after reading the tragic novel, but he refused to listen and was cast in The Lovely Bones alongside Mark Wahlberg, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan.
But when he decided to pick up the book, he found himself struggling to finish the story because the detailed rape and murder scenes were too traumatic.
He says, "I hadn't read the book, but my wife read the book and when I got the script, she said, 'You can't do that.' I read the script and then later I read the book, but I couldn't focus on the book in its entirety, it's just too painful."
Director Peter Jackson decided against showing the horrific act in the movie version, instead showing actress Ronan, as victim Susie Salmon, escaping the cornfield pit where she was brutally killed as a ghost.
But Tucci is still hesitant about ever showing the film to his three young daughters, even when they're adults.
He adds, "Maybe when they're 40! (But) they don't like to watch movies with me in them."
Tucci's performance has been lauded by critics, landing him nominations for next year's (10) Screen Actor's Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.
Kate Tucci lost her battle with cancer in May (09).