House of Gucci gave Lady Gaga a chance to show off her acting prowess without music, so she had to pull from somewhere else while playing Patrizia Reggiani in the Ridley Scott movie. In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Gaga said she drew from her personal trauma to connect with her character. She described her acting process as "totally unhealthy."
Gaga said she is a "masochist" when acting and is "completely detached from real life." The acting process on House of Gucci involved recalling the moment she was assaulted in her real life. The traumatic experience was at the top of her mind while filming a scene where Patrizia is served with divorce papers at her child's school.
"I just remember saying, 'I'm going to yell at you for every woman on earth, for every woman that's been hurt in this way,'" Gaga told the Times in a roundtable with Penelope Cruz, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Hudson, and Tessa Thompson. "And then I took myself back to the place where I was assaulted in my own life. I still feel like a rock star that I have been able to pick myself up and keep going and keep working."
Gaga's comments came after Stewart explained how her acting process has changed over the years. Unlike Gaga, Stewart has been acting since she was a child and became a movie superstar thanks to the Twilight movies. Stewart is now in the awards conversation thanks to her performance as Princess Diana in Spencer.
"I used to think: 'I need to f— myself up so badly, or else it's not going to be real.' Or: 'I need to embed every personal memory and tie it to something in this character,'" Stewart recalled. "But then I found that when I actually kind of chilled and stepped back, I was more present, honest, and therefore more vulnerable. It was like this reverse discovery."
Gaga understood where Stewart was coming from, but she finds it empowering to take a moment from her past and make it something different. "I hear everything you're saying about that vulnerability, but I kind of get off on that chaos for myself – reliving things that hurt me and bringing them back," Gaga explained. "It feels like I get to take something that was so painful and turn it into something meaningful. And yet I was such a f—ing wreck after that scene. It did take me down."
Gaga is also expected to be in the Oscar conversation for House of Gucci. In other interviews about the film, she described going full method acting, even using the Patrizia accent when the cameras weren't rolling. "Even if I was speaking about things that weren't related to the movie – I wasn't pretending that Maurizio [Gucci, played by Adam Driver] was waiting for me downstairs – I was still living my life. I just lived it as her," Gaga told Variety. "I brought the darkness with me home because her life was dark."
The method acting totally fooled Scott, who told Vulture he thought the accent was Gaga's real accent. " Even socially, she was right in character," the director said. "So I thought, 'I think this has always been her.' But it wasn't." House of Gucci is now in theaters.