Lady Gaga continued to detail her “House of Gucci” Method acting transformation into Patrizia Reggiani in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. The Grammy and Oscar winner stressed that her total absorption into the role came from a sincere and honest place, and she hopes people are understanding of that. “I feel so insecure talking about this,” Gaga said. “I get nervous that people will assume that I’m sensationalizing a certain type of acting.” While Gaga previously revealed she spoke in Reggiani’s accent for nine months, she told THR that she also used sense memory techniques to connect Reggiani’s trauma to her own personal traumas, including being raped by a music producer at 19 years old. Director Ridley Scott had to intervene when he thought that technique proved unhealthy.
“It’s a scene where I knock a lit candle across the room, and I remember I gave Salma [Hayek] a heart attack that day,” Gaga said of the moment. “I was falling apart as [Patrizia] fell apart. When I say that I didn’t break character, some of it was not by choice.”
As THR reports: “Gaga had experienced this kind of dissociative state before — including once when she was hospitalized. On the ‘Gucci’ set, Scott intervened, concerned by the impact the performance seemed to be having on his leading actress. ‘Ridley said, “I don’t want you traumatizing yourself,’ Gaga says. ‘And I said, “I already have. I’ve already been through this anyway. I might as well give it to you.” And he said, “Well, leave it here and don’t do this to yourself anymore.”‘”
The full-bodied commitment to playing Patrizia Reggiani also resulted in vomiting spells throughout production. As THR notes: “On most days during the three-and-a-half-month production, Gaga woke up around 3am to begin her transformation, a process that included donning a prosthetic bald cap under her various wigs. Often after she awoke she vomited, from some mixture of ‘anxiety, fatigue, trauma, exhaustion, commitment and love,’ she says. ‘You wake up, you throw up, you go to set, throw up again.'”
All of Gaga’s hard work seems to have paid off. The actress received universal praise in first reactions for “House of Gucci,” with press calling her performance “mesmerizing” and a “tour-de-force.” “House of Gucci” opens in theaters November 24.