Lady Gaga Talks Bringing ‘The Darkness’ Home With Her After House Of Gucci Role And How She Protected Her Mental Health

Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci
(Image credit: MGM)

Lady Gaga has always been an intense artist. Whether that means she shows up in a meat dress on a red carpet, learning an elaborate dance number for one of songs or giving her all to a role, the talent goes all in on her work. House of Gucci was apparently the ultimate example of this as the actress committed to embodying Patrizia Reggiani, a woman who famously spent 18 years in prison for hiring the murder of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci. 

Following her acclaimed leading role in A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga took on another heavy role for the Ridley Scott film. While speaking to Variety, the actress opened up about playing the role, sharing this: 

I brought the darkness with me home because her life was dark. … I had a psychiatric nurse with me towards the end of filming. I sort of felt like I had to. I felt that it was safer for me.

As Lady Gaga has shared prior, she decided to live “as her” for a year and a half, speaking in her accent for nine months, including off camera. While she didn’t break, she assured people that she didn’t pretend to be Patrizia Reggiani for that long, she certainly sounded like her and used her mannerisms. 

While living in the “dark” space of the person, Gaga decided to seek out on-set assistance from a mental health professional during the last few days of shooting. But as she disclosed her own experience, she made sure to point out that she doesn’t say this with any hope that people should “glorify” how committed she became to playing Patrizia Reggiani. In her words: 

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.

Gaga sounds self aware of her journey as an artist and she sees herself often go the extra mile, at the detriment of herself. Lady Gaga has always been a mental health advocate and it’s great to hear that she asked for help during the filming of House of Gucci to have that piece of mind. After she wrapped up the Ridley Scott movie, apparently her longtime manager Bobby Campbell suggested that she do a romantic comedy next, perhaps to break the tension of a role as dark as the Gucci story. 

Lady Gaga previously lived the role of Ally for A Star Is Born as well. She takes a bit of a method approach to her work, but she believes in fully committing herself to her art “on a cellular level” as she told Stephen Colbert last month. She felt that speaking in the accent off camera allowed her to become so comfortable with playing the role, so when she was on set she could do the scenes more naturally. 

Clearly, we’ll be talking about Lady Gaga more as award season unfolds. Until then, you can check out House of Gucci in theaters now. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.