Lady Gaga takes her acting very seriously, but according to the cinematographer of her upcoming film Joker: Folie à Deux, she was so serious that she didn’t even respond to her own name while on set.
In the podcast The Trenches TALK, the film’s cinematographer, Lawrence Sher, recalls how, when he called Gaga by her birth name, Stefani, she pretty much iced him out.
“I didn’t know Stefani at all. Strangely, I felt like I never even met her, even during the makeup/hair tests,” he explains. Noting that he always tries to give actors their space, he says still didn’t get why she wasn’t responding to him normally.
“I remember for a week, being like, ‘God, I feel like we are disconnecting. Not even connecting. We are like on opposites,’” Scher says. “And I would say to my crew, ‘Jesus, I can’t crack it. She either hates me or we hate each other. There’s something weird going on here.’”
Finally, Scher says, the assistant director told him, “Stef would like if you just called her ‘Lee’ on set.”
“The next thing I said was, ‘something, Lee,’ and it was like everything changed,” he reveals. “And it was like everything changed…I was like, ‘Alright, cool. That’s all I needed to know,’ and that changed everything. And then obviously, we made the rest of the movie, and it was much more of a connection that just grew over this point of the movie.”
“By the end, I think we felt connected in the sense of like, we’ve done this thing together that was joyous and and fulfilling,” he concludes.
As for why Gaga wanted to be called “Lee,” perhaps it was a nickname for her character in the film, Harley Quinn.
Joker: Folie à Deux is due out in 2024.
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