An Ode to Lady Gaga’s Gloriously Unhinged ‘House of Gucci’ Oscar Campaign

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Upon the film’s release in November, the fruits of Gaga’s labor were finally revealed to largely effusive reviews, and she quickly picked up Oscar buzz as the awards season machine kicked into gear. Since then, however, her Method approach to acting hasn’t shown any signs of stopping—and after conducting a brief but wholly scientific post-mortem, it’s clear that if they gave out Oscars for campaigns alone, Gaga would be a richly deserved two-time winner. 

Over the past few months, Gaga has offered more gloriously unhinged moments than you can shake a mozzarella stick at. There was the time that she described going on a walk while filming in Italy and breaking into a panic because she believed the whole world had become a movie set. There was also the interview with Jake Gyllenhaal in which she recalled getting into character by imitating a panther on the floor of her hotel room and then cooed, “Mommy and Daddy love each other” while she and Gyllenhaal awkwardly embraced.

We can, very happily, go on. Who can forget Gaga’s recollection of writing an 80-page biography of Reggiani before shooting—perhaps channeling her dream of being a “combat journalist” as she did it (“When I was at the Capitol, the day before the inauguration, I remember walking around and looking for evidence of the insurrection,” she told British Vogue). Or when she casually dropped the bombshell that a lesbian sex scene between her and Salma Hayek was filmed and eventually cut? Or her vivid description of hanging off her balcony on the last day of filming, smoking a cigarette, and dancing to “Mambo Italiano” when she was attacked by a swam of flies that she believed were conjured by Reggiani herself? After that, Gaga reflected, “I had to let [the character] go.” It sounds like that was definitely for the best.

There have also been the bemused reactions of her co-stars to enjoy, like Salma Hayek zoning out during an interview as Gaga discussed studying the Meisner, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler techniques. (In the same interview, she describes writing a letter to herself at the beginning of production that simply read: “I don’t need you anymore.”) Then, during an actors’ roundtable, Gaga asked a group that included Jennifer Hudson, Kirsten Dunst, and Penélope Cruz: “Do you ever drink the prop drinks and ever feel drunk even though they are not real? I do.” The ensuing silence and everyone’s facial reactions, which ranged from confused to outright concerned, should have ended the best actress race then and there.

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And all that’s without even mentioning the fashion. Gaga kicked off her House of Gucci press tour in London, vamping in a marvelously theatrical, fresh-off-the-runway purple Gucci gown, complete with enormous, billowing purple sleeves that she twirled around her for maximum visual impact. On the same trip, she left her hotel in a cape and dress set covered with the brand’s famous monogram paired with vertiginous platform heels. Elsewhere, she leaned into “painful Italian glamour,” as she described it, wearing a slinky, hot red Atelier Versace gown for the Milan premiere and a revealing, goth-inflected Armani Privé black dress in New York.

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