Ridley Scott Thought It Was Fantastic That Lady Gaga And Jared Leto Stayed In Character For The Entire Filming Of “House Of Gucci”
By now, we’ve all heard the tales of Lady Gaga’s 18-month long method acting exercise to prepare for and play the role of
Best Actress Oscar Winner Lady Gaga the character of Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci. Gaga says she stayed in character before and during filming, at all times, no matter what, in order to fully become the character of Patrizia. Her House of Gucci co-star Jared Leto is no stranger to the concept of method acting, as he too has been known to be the type of actor who falls into a role and refuses to drop character until the DVD commentary. If that sounds super annoying to you, then go ahead and pull up a chair next to Martin Freeman and have a nice chat about that. But when it comes to House of Gucci director Ridley Scott, he thought all that method acting was charming.
Ridley Scott and his wife, Giannina Facio, who’s a producer on the film, recently spoke to Vulture about what it was like working with Gaga and Jared. Giannina says that Lady Gaga “understood the part,” and that she believes Gaga’s dedication to becoming Patrizia was just Lady Gaga giving it 110%.
As for Gaga’s Method-style immersion, Facio chalks it up to a single-minded dedication to craft: “And she really studied every single emotion of Patrizia from beginning to end. As you see, she even changes physically because she’s so enthralled in the role that she became Patrizia. During the whole shoot, she only spoke to us as Patrizia and always looked like Patrizia when she was around any of us.”
As for Jared Leto, he was clearly giving Lady Gaga a run for her method money. He pretty much became Uncle Paolo Gucci the second he snuck into hair and makeup on set.
[Leto] spent five hours a day in the makeup chair being plied with artificial jowls, a receding hairline, and liver spots. He never broke character between takes, conversing with cast and crew in the highly animated, That’s a spicy meat-ah-ball! accent of his character. On his first day on set, Leto said he approached Al Pacino, who plays Gucci patriarch Aldo Gucci, in full character drag, greeting him brightly with “Papa, it’s me, Paolo!” (Not realizing this middle-aged Italiano was in fact the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars, Pacino initially kept his distance until being informed it was Leto.)
Please tell me that even after he was informed who was under all that rubber and spirit gum, that Al Pacino said, “Keep that weirdo away from me before I get a gift-wrapped condom or something.” I need to know this. But Ridley Scott was too busy jacking off Lady Gaga and Jared Leto’s egos to let us know if Pacino thought it was all bullshit. Ridley says that he was a little hesitant at first when he realized Gaga and Leto were doing a ~thing~, but that ultimately he was on board when he realized how good it was for their performances.
“Well, at first I forgot [about Lady Gaga’s semi-permanent accent]. Because she was so in character every minute of the day I saw her. Even socially, she was right in character. So I thought, I think this has always been her. But it wasn’t. Similar to Jared Leto. He works in a very similar fashion. Once he goes in, it’s like he’s immersed, and he doesn’t come out and breathe for air until he’s finished.
At first I was anxious – the fact that some smart aleck might say, ‘Well, it’s Italians. Why is it not in Italian?’” the director says. “And so I’d say, ‘Well, because, you idiot, you’d have to have subtitles, and people don’t tend to see expensive subtitle movies.’ That’s the answer. And so therefore they say, ‘Well, I was distracted because the Italian accent.’ But in this, they were so adept, and it was just so tied in to who they were. I mean there’s moments where Jared was positively comical. Fantastic.”
I totally understand working hard for that Oscar, but please for a second think about how ludicrous it must have been for either Jared Leto or Lady Gaga to walk up to the craft service table and say, “Ah yes, brava! Una chicken salad and una bottled water, per favore e grazie. Fiji if you have it, but if not, ne prendo uno Evian.” Even the costumed Disney Princesses you hire for a child’s 5th birthday will drop character when a grown-up approaches them and asks what their hourly rate is.