Lady Gaga has opened up about her time filming Ridley Scott’s soapy murder drama House of Gucci; she says that she stayed in character for nine months, and her full-bodied commitment left her in spells of fatigue, vomiting, and exhaustion.
Gaga told Variety in a new interview about how she sought mental health care during the making of the film, and was aided by an on-set psychiatric nurse as production neared its end.
For the entirety of filming, Gaga, 35, says she lived as Patrizia. “I was the same way for A Star Is Born. I was always Ally,” she said, adding, “And for this, I was always Patrizia. I always spoke in my accent. And even if I was speaking about things that weren’t related to the movie – I wasn’t pretending that Maurizio (Adam Driver) was waiting for me downstairs – I was still living my life. I just lived it as her.”
Gaga added, “I brought the darkness with me home because her life was dark.” So much so that Gaga revealed for the first time that she sought on-set help from a mental health professional during the final days of shooting. “I had a psychiatric nurse with me towards the end of filming,” she said, explaining, “I sort of felt like I had to. I felt that it was safer for me.”
Gaga said she shared this not to “glorify” her commitment to acting, but because “I don’t think that any actor should push themselves to that limit. And I ask myself all the time why I do that. I’ve done some pretty extreme art pieces throughout my career — the things I’ve put my body through, my mind. It’s like a walnut of sadness in my stomach as I say this to you. I don’t know why I’m like that. I think that the best answer I could give you is I have a sort of romantic relationship with suffering for your art that I developed as a young girl, and it just sometimes goes too far. And when it does go too far, it can be hard to reel it in on your own.”
A longtime mental health advocate, Gaga hopes her experiences can be enlightening for others. “It’s OK to ask for help,” she said. “If you’re feeling like that, ask for help. No matter what.”
Gaga said that “It’s not a secret that I’ll do anything for art. I probably will completely change this when I have a child, but I don’t have a child yet. I want to be available and present for my children in a way that I think when you are acting in that way, it could be problematic for a child to be around.”