Gaga says to build strength, you must “come from a lot of weakness.”
Lady Gaga sat down for an intimate and candid interview with E! News to discuss everything American Horror Story: Hotel. She opens up about how she approached the show, how important it was to her the cast and crew looked out for her well-being and how fame can cause feelings of loneliness.
“I do know isolation,” Gaga said, “because I’m famous and it’s hard to go be normal all the time. And when you meet people in public, 99 percent of the time, people aren’t that interested in really getting to know me. There’s sort of a wall between us that they think something of me that I’m not. I’m really just a human being that makes this…stuff.”
“I haven’t said this before, and I should have,” Gaga said. “I really hope, more than anything that anyone could take away from me being on Horror Story, I’d really, really like for artists and their managers and people in any industry to know the importance of caring for people that you work with, and keeping them in a good mental state and taking care of their health and making sure that we’re all OK. It’s important to work hard, and making money is important to survive, but what’s more important is that we support one another through the challenges of life.”
“I’m happier than I’ve ever been now,” Gaga revealed, “because the people that I work with really, really care that my life is different and really, really work to make sure that I feel as normal as possible—so that I can have a great time and just be a normal girl, and just be a woman for Ryan on film, or you know… [laughs] a hemophiliac.”
Gaga is referring to her provocative role as The Countess, a 100-year-old woman with an insatiable appetite for sex and blood. The upcoming season’s opening scene shows Gaga with Donovan played by Matt Bomer having a foursome with another couple before she murders them with razor-sharp gloves and drinks their blood.
“In a strange way, I actually almost prefer to watch myself in a love scene.”
Gaga tells The Hollywood Reporter the upcoming season revolves around addiction.
“There is a journey for my character in particular through hemophilia and her need to drink blood to survive and to stay young, and that’s entwined with other stories about a need for sex, a need for freedom, a need for drugs, a need for attention, a need to survive,” she tells The Hollywood Reporter of her bloodthirsty (and incredibly well-dressed) hotel owner character, The Countess. “What’s interesting about this season is that you see the dichotomy of the two worlds: you have the hotel world, which feels decidedly like the Ryan Murphy world, and then you have the outside world. It’s addiction as the public sees it, versus how it really is, and how that all plays into each other.”
She also describes her approach walking into the show, saying “In order to build strength,” she said, “you have to usually come from a lot of weakness. So, I’m actually extremely weak in a lot of ways and extremely vulnerable and extremely open and reckless and crazy with my mind, my emotions. Things that I make, I’m always throwing everything that I have at it, and I was not actually that fearless when I first came to this set. I was very nervous. I did the Oscars at the top of the year, I was very nervous for that. I prepared, prepared, prepared, and was like, ‘I did that and that was great,’ but I couldn’t even enjoy it because I was still kind of in preparation mode after it happened. It’s like I wasn’t even there. So I was just very nervous.”
Gaga wanted to make sure her persona didn’t overpower her as a person.
“Something that was so important to me when I got here is I really wanted to bond with the cast,” she explained. “And I wanted to get to know them, and I wanted them to feel comfortable with me as a human being and a person, and know that I was going to be available and open to them, and that I wasn’t going to come on set and be like, ‘Where’s my make up?! Where’s my trailer?!’ and be a huge bitch and make this The Gaga Show. The most important thing to me was that that did not happen.”
The “Applause” singer hopes she changes the way people view her as an actress.
“I’m new to acting in a lot of ways,” she admitted, “but also, I’m not, because I studied it for over 10 years, so that also sounds ridiculous. I know I say I’ve done a lot of things, but the truth is that I was a Renaissance woman since I was maybe 4. Classical piano and then you know, acting classes at 7 or 8. Little things, I did ballet, and then I started the Strasberg method, which is method acting. I went to [NYU’s] Tisch School [for the Arts] and did musical theater, and I wrote songs. And I’ve always been someone that was interested in the arts…I have all this training in these other areas so [coming into Horror Story], I was like, ‘I’m just going to go to set and I’m going to know my lines perfectly, but not too perfectly that I can’t keep it loose and live in it. And I’m going to really read the f–k out of these scripts, over and over and over, 10 times each at least.'”
That was the catalyst for an emotional breakthrough.
“Can you imagine feeling isolated all the time?” she questioned, “and working constantly and being on tour and doing stuff like that to then being, like, living and breathing and having true exchanges and emotions and real-life drama constantly all the time? Even though it’s fake, I’m still having exchanges with people and looking them in the eye…because you’re available. When you’re not around people that are available to you, you shut down, so here I am and I’m on.”
The series premieres on Wednesday (Oct. 7), and Gaga hopes she leaves an impression (but not too much).
“I’d really like people to watch it and not feel like they’re watching Lady Gaga. I’d like them to feel like they’re watching The Countess. So that’s important to me, and I’ve spent a lot of time working on that. I can’t wait for everyone to just enjoy the show.”
Perhaps they will forget her just long enough until Season 6? Show creator Ryan Murphy Tweeted: “Lady Gaga is so brilliant in AHS Season 5 that yesterday I officially asked her to join Season 6. Say yes @ladygaga!”
Lady Gaga is so brilliant in AHS Season 5 that yesterday I officially asked her to join Season 6. Say yes @ladygaga!
— Ryan Murphy (@MrRPMurphy) October 6, 2015