There’s nothing “Shallow” about Lady Gaga’s performances, thanks to her expertly honed method acting techniques. The “House of Gucci” star admitted during Variety‘s Actors on Actors roundtable opposite Jake Gyllenhaal that she often stays in character for months, even years, at a time.
“I would actually say playing a character for me is like living one long song, one long song that lasts for months,” Gaga explained. “For ‘A Star Is Born,’ it was years for me.”
Yet Gaga was more than ready to shed her “House of Gucci” persona after playing convicted killer Patrizia Reggiani, who ordered the murder of her ex-husband, Gucci fashion house heir Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver).
“I dropped her faster because she was a killer and there were some things about the transformation for me psychologically that were super challenging,” Gaga confessed. “When I watch the movie, it looks like I’m watching a montage of my life. I don’t feel like I’m watching a film.”
Gaga was immediately drawn to Reggiani in the Ridley Scott drama: “The first thing I thought when I read the script was ‘OK, they want some woman to use her body and her manipulation to get money from this incredibly wealthy man,'” Gaga recalled. “And the more that I dug through it, I realized that she was really in love with him. And women are complex creatures, and we’re complicated, and it’s never one single story. It’s many stories.”
Gaga added, “I wanted to inject a reality into her that was multifaceted and fractured and broken. When I think about her as a character, I think of me taking little bits of glass from tons of different women and encapsulating them into one character that I still believe to be truly her, but I think insanity is subjective.”
And dare Gaga say that she can relate to the real-life Reggiani?
“I couldn’t not love her,” Gaga gushed. “That’s what makes it a survival story instead of a story about scandal and greed. She really thinks she’s doing the right thing, and it’s why this murder took place. I believe this with all my heart, because why any Italian woman would insert herself into a totally male-dominated business is beyond me. And I mean that with love.”
Gaga added, “I almost find it interesting now that I haven’t heard from her, because she’s alive. I don’t know if she’s seen it. I don’t know what she thinks about it, but everyone around me said: ‘I think this might be painful.'”
Approaching every project “like a romance,” Gaga recreates her own characters’ respective stories, feeling “safer in art than in life.”
“When I’m in character, I don’t pretend we’re not filming,” Gaga said. “I get people who are like, ‘Why did you keep your accent the whole time?’ Can you imagine going in and out of that shit all the time, and I would only get three takes? I had to be ready.
The “Bad Romance” singer concluded, “I’m not an actor that really knows where the camera is. But I guess what I’m trying to say is it’s super immersive, as if I’m in the middle of singing a song and the song doesn’t end until I decide it does.”