Lady Gaga’s Oscar campaign is full of stories of vomit, trauma & bald caps


Lady Gaga wants an Oscar. She’s not making that a secret. She’s openly campaigning for a Best Actress Oscar for House of Gucci. She’s been doing the industry circuit throughout the fall, and she’s been crisscrossing Europe and North America to promote the film, sometimes solo. I was reading a Ridley Scott interview and he was talking about how quickly he moves while filming, how many cameras he uses, how few takes he gives actors and how he likes to bring in films under budget and ahead of schedule. He let it slip that the House of Gucci shoot only lasted 42 days?! Just keep that in mind whenever you hear Gaga talk about the absolute ORDEAL she went through making this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I think Gaga looks like she’s giving a great performance too! I just think it’s a f–king joke that every actor’s Oscar campaign is based on how hard they suffered through a grueling shoot. And in this case, the shoot was two months, broken up by some location changes and travel. Some highlights from Gaga’s Hollywood Reporter cover interview:

She experienced a dissociative state during filming on ‘Gucci’: “Ridley said, ‘I don’t want you traumatizing yourself.’ And I said, ‘I already have. I’ve already been through this anyway. I might as well give it to you.’ And he said, ‘Well, leave it here and don’t do this to yourself anymore.’ ”

She channeled her past trauma into this performance: “I took the pain I feel from being attacked when I was a young girl, from feeling left behind by people that I love, from feeling trapped that I can’t go out into a world that I love. I took that pain and I gave it to her.”

The weight of that fame is oppressive. “I made a trade when I decided to pursue my career in the way that I have. I didn’t know what that trade was going to be, but it happened. And in a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve lost everything.”

Bradley Cooper on Gaga: “A Star Is Born is such a specific thing, and there was always a meta element to the project. She’s just so terribly charismatic and beautiful. When I met her, I thought, ‘If I can just harness that … then it’s just for me to mess up.’ But then, when we started working together, I realized, ‘Oh, oh, the sky’s the limit in terms of what she’s able to do and her commitment level.’”

Cooper on whether he & Gaga have chemistry in real life: Fans speculated they might not really be acting. Cooper says they definitely were acting during “Shallow,” which ultimately won Gaga the songwriting Oscar, and he had conceived the performance to unfold like a scene from the movie in part to help manage his own fears about singing live. “Just from a personal standpoint, it reduces the anxiety level. They kind of fall in love in that scene in the film. It’s that explosive moment that happens to happen to them on a stage in front of thousands of people. … It would have been so weird if we were both on stools facing the audience.”

Gaga views her ‘Gucci’ role as feminist: “I can assure you, you should never put a hit out on your husband. But my love and best wishes and my heart go out to all of us women who try to survive and matter in a man’s world. While lots of men were trying to figure out what piece of this pie they were going to get to keep, while they were watching the money, they should have been watching her. And because they didn’t pay attention to her, they lost everything.”

Accent work, pasta: “If I can sing rock ‘n’ roll or jazz or country or pop music, I knew I could speak in a specific Northern Italian accent. It’s knowing how to use your voice, why, and where, and with who, and how to feel while you’re doing it.” She ate more pasta and bread than usual, deliberately gaining weight to have a more rounded figure.

Her transformation: Gaga woke up around 3 a.m. to begin her transformation, a process that included donning a prosthetic bald cap under her various wigs. Often after she awoke she vomited, from some mixture of “anxiety, fatigue, trauma, exhaustion, commitment and love. You wake up, you throw up, you go to set, throw up again.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

I admire her hustle even though I think she’s laying it on too thick. Even on-screen bear-assault survivor Leo DiCaprio is like “honey, you’re overselling this.” You know what Oscar voters like to hear? That you had a great time filming a movie! That you enjoyed yourself while you worked and everything really was glamorous and crazy, just like in the movie. Not everything has to be this vomitous bummer. I do find it interesting that Bradley Cooper is in her corner this year – I could totally see him doing some Oscar campaigning for Gaga, maybe hosting some Academy screenings or an Oscar-voter party for her. After all, he wants to win an Oscar too.

Cover & IG courtesy of THR.

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15 Responses to “Lady Gaga’s Oscar campaign is full of stories of vomit, trauma & bald caps”

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  1. M says:

    I really wish she hadn’t messed with her face. You can’t tell so much here, but when she was on Graham Norton it was really obvious.

    I like Gaga, but this coverage is already wearing me out. I will be skipping this one.

    • Div says:

      Yeah, I said this below…I (mostly) like Gaga…but she’s a lot. I don’t want to devalue the fact that she does have mental illness issues and I think it’s good she talks about them and how it factors into her work….but it comes across too much when she’s discussing movies.

      When it’s her music, I get it, as music tends to be highly personal and situated around her own creation. But it just doesn’t seem…appropriate?…in terms of discussing this so in-depth with movies. It’s uncomfortable, it feels like sitting in on a therapy sessions (which we expect more with musicians, but not this). Not only that, it’s easy to conflate the seriousness of discussing how mental illness can impact work with the fact that she’s very thirsty for an Oscar.

  2. Div says:

    I feel kind of bad saying this…

    Gaga has serious issues with mental illness. She’s been very open about it and the fact that she’s been hospitalized (the interview even mentions it). She’s also aware that she takes it too far, that she gets overly involved in whatever work she is doing in part because she fixates, and in this interview she even mentions that she knows she needs to learn to set boundaries.

    The thing is…while I think it’s good to talk about mental illness and be open about it….this doesn’t really seem to be the place to do so in that she talks about how it impacts her work and life? Instead, it just reads as her being thirsty for the Oscar and going Leo DiCaprio style. And she is thirsty for the Oscar—VERY thirsty—don’t get me wrong—but I feel like it sort of devalues the seriousness of the issue and just makes her look melodramatic instead.

    And yeah—I think she and BCoop are truly friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if either of them came out for one another this season as both are in MGM films.

  3. A says:

    It’s dumb when Gaga does it. It’s dumb when Jared Leto does it. It’s dumb when Christian Bale does it. It’s just dumb.

  4. Léna says:

    This seemed to be really unheatlhy for her. She’s trying a bit too hard IMO. I just wished jared leto wasn’t associated with this movie ugh

  5. Case says:

    I like Gaga. I think she seems like a kind and hardworking person. And I don’t doubt how difficult it is to do Method-style acting. But she’s doing these interviews alongside actors who are also known for being very dedicated and focused in their roles, and it feels like she’s just going WAY over the top in selling how difficult it was for her personally in order to win an Oscar. I’m uncomfortable when actors use mental or physical “unwellness” to campaign for awards. That shouldn’t be the message they’re sending to young actors on how to get recognition, and it shouldn’t be criteria that makes the Academy take you more seriously.

    I’ve heard Adam Driver talk about how it’s not the actor’s job to *feel* any certain way during a scene or project themselves into it, but rather figure out a way to convey the emotion of the scene as the director intended the audience to take away from it, and I really like that description. It seems entirely unnecessary to visit past trauma in order to give a good performance.

    • Léna says:

      Wow you really describe how I feel perfectly ! Really great comment

    • Ugh says:

      I think she’s gone beyond “committed” to unprofessional or self-damaging behavior for a role in a movie that most people won’t give a second thought, with a director who did not seem to demand such intensity. If she’s feeling traumatized, overwhelmed to the point of feeling ill and vomiting regularly …in another job, people would suggest that you quit to take care of yourself. If it’s so hard for her, maybe another actor should do it?! It’s just a friggin movie, she’s not solving the world’s problems!

  6. Cat77 says:

    I could care less about this movie after she said that no one was going to tell her who her character was, nit even the real person she was portraying. 🙄

    • Ashley says:

      That made me angry too because there is a real person and that person knows themselves more than Gaga’s portrayal of how she thinks she knows the person. Not meeting the person means you’re devaluing the life they lived, a life that is THEIRS. I hope she doesn’t win an Oscar on that comment alone.

      But also she’s doing the most. It was a 42 day shoot, you didn’t need to talk in an Italian accent for a year and a half. If she was COMMITTED why was she wearing wigs? A Star was Born wasnt all that (it was crap actually) and I will watch this because the Gucci story is good, but I doubt she went full Leo with this so please stop trying to sell it. And I despise Jared Leto so will wait until this is on HBO Max.

  7. Sof says:

    I’ll always appreciate Gaga’s commitment to choosing “unconventional” looks. She makes everything interesting.
    Now, if she really struggles with her mental health maybe she should do something about it?

  8. Sunny says:

    Actual native Italians from Northern Italy are saying her accent is very off.

    She’s not getting the Oscar.

    • Sudie says:

      Agree she doesn’t have a chance to win, I think she had a better chance with A Star is Born.
      I too would love to see Ruth Negga in the running, she was brilliant in Passing. Penelope Cruz has a shot as she did win the Venice Film Festival for best actress and she was in competition with Kristen which doesn’t bode well for Kristen.