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Lady Gaga expands on the emotional impact of her House of Gucci role

Gaga says she was often sick from a mixture of ‘anxiety, fatigue, trauma, exhaustion, commitment, and love’ while working on the Ridley Scott film

Lady Gaga is tired of people obsessing over her accent in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci, which sees her play Patrizia Reggiani, the murderous socialite convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). However, she herself has opened up about other aspects of the role, including its impact on her mental wellbeing.

In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the actor and Chromatica singer says that she tapped into real-world trauma to play the role, relying on a Stanislavski acting technique that involves revisiting sense memories from an emotional event.

Expanding on her previous claims that she “lived as” her character during shooting — even speaking in an Italian accent for nine months — she adds that the lines between her own experiences and Patrizia’s began to blur. Recalling one such occasion, she says: “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.”

“I was falling apart as (Patrizia) fell apart. When I say that I didn’t break character, some of it was not by choice.”

Apparently, Ridley Scott stepped in after the scene in question, concerned about the effect Gaga’s performance was having on her mental health. “Ridley said, ‘I don’t want you traumatizing yourself,’” Gaga explains. “And I said, ‘I already have. I’ve already been through this anyway. I might as well give it to you.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, she speaks about the intensity of playing Reggiani, which sometimes made her physically sick. On most days during the months-long production, she would wake around 3am to begin preparing for the role, a process that included fitting a prosthetic bald cap under various wigs. Often, when she woke, she would vomit from a blend of “anxiety, fatigue, trauma, exhaustion, commitment, and love”.

“You wake up, you throw up,” she says. “You go to set, throw up again.”

However, Gaga also adds that she feels “insecure” about discussing her dramatic experiences on House of Gucci. “I get nervous that people will assume that I’m sensationalizing a certain type of acting,” she says. 

This worry echoes a statement she made earlier this month, at the film’s London premiere. Then, however, she went on to tell press that she wanted to open up about acting nevertheless, saying: “I don’t like to lie about my work and my process. So what I will say is this: I’m a romantic when it comes to art. I had a romantic relationship with my character, Patrizia. I had a romantic relationship with the script and I dove headfirst into this world.”

House of Gucci — Gaga’s first major acting role since A Star Is Born, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actresswill arrive in cinemas on November 24. Revisit the latest trailer below.