Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci. (YouTube/ MGM)
Lady Gaga got so into her House of Gucci character Patrizia Reggiani, heir to the leather goods fortune, she thought she killed someone.
The “Stupid Love” hitmaker opened up about her challenging experience filming the upcoming movie which charts the turbulent marriage and divorce of Patrizia and Maurizio Gucci which curdles into a plot to kill the head of the Gucci fashion house.
In an interview with British Vogue, the December 2021 cover star recalled the struggles she faced when “becoming” her character for the years.
“I will be fully honest and transparent: I lived as [Patrizia] for a year and a half,” she said.
“And I spoke with an accent for nine months of that,” she said, adding that she did so “off-camera”.
“I never broke. I stayed with her.”
Lady Gaga felt ‘unbecoming’ Patrizia Reggiani was greater challenge
Gaga gradually began to “disconnect” with reality as her method acting of “living and speaking” as Patrizia deepened, she said, to the one point that she believed she had slain someone. At this point, she had begun to distance herself from her loved ones.
“I drove by where Maurizio [Gucci] was shot,” Gaga recalled, “and I felt a pin drop in my stomach because I was so in my character, and I thought: ‘What have I done?’ We made art out of pain.”
“You end up sounding and looking like [the character],” she continued, “yes, but it’s not an imitation, it’s a becoming.
“I remember when we started filming, I knew I had become — and I knew that the greater challenge was going to be unbecoming.”
The mental hardships she carried from were long-lasting, Gaga added.
“I had some psychological difficulty at one point towards the end of filming,” she said.
“I was either in my hotel room, living and speaking as [Patrizia] Reggiani, or I was on set, living and speaking as her. 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.”
“We were in between takes and Salma [Hayek, who also stars in the movie] was like: ‘Oh, this f***ing method actor is over here. You know, she’s not talking to me right now.’
“Because I was doing sense memory work next to her, and she was making fun of me while I was sitting there doing it.
“I didn’t even laugh. When the scene was over, I flipped at her and I said, ‘You’re ridiculous!’ and I started laughing and I kissed her. It was a wonderful set, but I’m very serious when I work.”
As much as Lady Gaga let herself be consumed by her portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani, the wealthy socialite herself was less than impressed.
For House of Gucci, the biographical crime film based on a 2001 book of the same name, Gaga never actually reached out to Reggiani.
Chatting to Italian news agency Ansa, Reggiani, 72, said: “I’m annoyed by the fact that Lady Gaga is portraying me in the new Ridley Scott film without even having the courtesy or the good sense to come and meet me.”
Maurizio, the scion who helmed the house in the 1980s, was shot and killed in Milan, Italy, by a hitman hired by Reggiani in 1995.
The heiress, once one of Italy’s most well-known members of the jet-set class, was released from prison in 2016 after a jury convicted her in Milan to 29 years in prison, later reduced to 26 on appeal.