The actor and singer says that she spoke with Patrizia Reggiani’s accent for nine months, even off camera
Ahead of the premiere of Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci later this month, the film’s star, Lady Gaga, has discussed portraying the murderous socialite Patrizia Reggiani, describing how she became intensely immersed in the role for more than a year.
“It is three years since I started working on it,” she says of House of Gucci in a new cover interview for British Vogue. “And I will be fully honest and transparent: I lived as her (Reggiani) for a year and a half.” Apparently, the actress and pop star even inhabited the character when the camera stopped rolling. “I never broke,” she adds. “I stayed with her.”
Among other things, this involved speaking with an Italian accent for a full nine months (see? Gaga told you she takes pride in her Italian heritage). However, it was “nearly impossible” to speak in the accent as a blonde, she says, explaining: “I instantly had to dye my hair.”
“I started to live in a way whereby anything that I looked at, anything that I touched, I started to take notice of where and when I could see money,” she goes on. “I started to take photographs as well. I have no evidence that Patrizia was a photographer, but I thought as an exercise, and finding her interests in life, that I would become a photographer.”
“I took my point-and-shoot camera everywhere that I went. I noticed that Patrizia loved beautiful things. If something wasn’t beautiful, I deleted it.”
Given that Gaga went so deep into the role, it’s not too surprising to learn that she had “some psychological difficulty” toward the end of filming, as she reemerged into the real world (i.e. Italy’s rolling coronavirus lockdowns). “I was either in my hotel room, living and speaking as Reggiani, or I was on set, living and speaking as her,” she says. “I remember I went out into Italy one day with a hat on to take a walk. I hadn’t taken a walk in about two months and I panicked. I thought I was on a movie set.”
In the film, Gaga stars across from Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci (the grandson of label founder Guccio Gucci, and ex-husband of Reggiani) who was gunned down by a hired hitman in 1995. Reggiani was convicted of orchestrating the assassination in 1998, and subsequently served 18 years in prison.
Though Reggiani is now a free woman, Gaga never tried to consult her on the role. “I only felt that I could truly do this story justice if I approached it with the eye of a curious woman who was interested in possessing a journalistic spirit so that I could read between the lines of what was happening in the film’s scenes,” she says. “Meaning that nobody was going to tell me who Patrizia Gucci was. Not even Patrizia Gucci.”